Running Away From The Twenties

Can't catch me, Twenties!

Today is my 30th birthday, so last night I wanted to do something special to say “Goodbye” to the 20 year old me.  So I went for a 3 mile run. In the dark.  In 20° weather.  Some of you may shudder at the thought, but it was sublime.  And I’m not talking “Santeria” sublime, I’m talking peanut butter straight out of the jar sublime.

I used to think nothing could beat running along the Santa Monica boardwalk, staring at the ocean while the warm sun beat down on my shoulders.  Then I moved back to the Midwest.  Last night, the air was crisp and smog-free in my lungs. The scent of pine and burnt leaves hung in the air where homeless man b.o. and urine used to reside.  And it was quiet.  I went iPodless because I knew that this quiet only shows up a few months out of the year.  Living in LA, I could never find this quiet.  Amidst the car horns, mariachi music and leased BMW keyless entry remotes, there was never silence.  There is a stillness that you can only find during Winter in places that snow falls.  I love this sound – if I could bottle it up and sell it on iTunes, I would.  And you’d buy it.

Yes, it was cold but I didn’t mind a bit.  The air was icy in my lungs and my muscles felt stiff but as soon as my body warmed up, which only took about 1/4 mile, it felt like any other run.  I have gotten my gear down to a science, where I feel warm (but not too warm) and cool (but not too cool) at the same time. I am sure the formula is different for everyone, considering I passed a guy wearing shortie shorts, a tank top* and gloves.  Brrr! It’s best to wear really breathable clothes that have Dri-Fit technology so body heat stays in and sweat stays out.  I always wear a warm hoodie or fleece on top that I take off and tie around my waist if I get too overheated, but I didn’t really need it. And the lightweight cotton gloves are easy to tuck in a waistband if your hands need to cool down.  Covering your ears, again with something cotton or Dri-Fit, keeps the cold wind out.

So layer up, lace up and say “Peace Out, Homie!” to the Twenties.  Or Tens.  Or Below Zeroes.  Or if you are lucky, the Sixty-Fives.  But look out for the grocery cart condo and roller skatin’ boom box guy on the boardwalk.

*Sidebar: No man should ever wear a tank top. Unless that man is Alexander Skarsgard, which of whom is pardoned. (Thanks GQ, for this fabulous photo shoot). Or if you are an old-timey boxer.  Cause those guys are just hilarious.

Vampire Eric Northman, lounging in his hammy, reading The Notebook.

3 thoughts on “Running Away From The Twenties

  1. Mmmmm….peanut butter straight from the jar….the best! Spread it straight onto a freshly peeled banana for some extra punch, right Kathy? 🙂

    Thanks for the reminder to suck it up and get off the 'ole keester! Winter can be beautiful and bring silent peace too. Your bundled up photo reminds me that I can do it!!

    And hey, if a 30-yr old can do it then it should be a piece of cake for us 29-yr olds, right? 😉

  2. I live in the Midwest as well and, as I work out in the AM before work, anything done outside would be in complete darkness (plus streetlights). When the days got shorter at the beginning of last winter, my workouts came indoors, so my walk-runs stopped. It was sad, but I just felt creeped out by the dark.

    Do you frequently run outside in the dark? How do you deal with the darkness? I’m seriously considering getting a second hand treadmill come November…

    • Hi Katie! That run was one of my last alone in the dark. You are so right – as the days got shorter, my outdoor runs were getting less frequent because of safety. So I went into my local running store and asked about a running group – and found an AMAZING group of ladies. We run 2-3 mornings a week at 6AM in the pitch dark. There are about 4-5 of us, so I feel safe and protected! And believe it or not, my eyes adjust to the darkness and it hasn’t been a problem.

      If you can’t find a partner group to run with, try running on your lunch break. Playtex and Athletix sell body wipes so you don’t have to smell like a sock in your afternoon meeting. If that isn’t an option, there is NOTHING wrong with the ol’ treadmill. Train indoors during the week, then hit the road come Saturday and Sunday. What’s important is that you stay moving!!

      Hope that helps, and thanks for reading!

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