Winter running is officially here. I am no stranger to winter running; it was always my favorite season to run in the South. I have run in the cold, the bitter cold–Southern wet cold. However, snow and especially wind are new. There is no wind in the Tennessee Valley (which makes it hellish in the summer), and snow is a rarity.
So today, when I planned to run after work, I packed all my winter gear for the dreaded cold and wind and snow forecasted. Like all Colorado forecasts, it was just a lie, but I was prepared anyway.
When I was released from my last meeting and collecting my things to hit the trail, I checked my phone. I had an email from the publishing company to which I submitted my novella. They want to offer me a publishing contract; they want to publish my novella.
To say I was elated would be an understatement. I think I utterly floated through my first mile or two on sheer excitement and possibility. Snowflakes were teasing the air. To the west, I watched the storm drop a veil over the mountains then slide that curtain over the plains towards me. Unfortunately, the winter did not last before the storm swept south, revealing the mountains tangled in trailing clouds and leaving only a chill in the air.
I ran too fast at first. I let my excitement get the best of me, quickening my step beyond my pace. I couldn’t resist it. My momentum failed me halfway up the killer hill. I felt myself slowing, slowing until I felt like I could be rolling backwards. As nausea writhed in my stomach and bubbled up against my throat, I took a deep breath and lengthened my strides.
I was huffing, puffing, and roasting by the top of the hill. My muscles were crying, and I kind of wanted to puke. I dropped to my safe wog and breathed it out, forcing myself to cool down while still running. As I started along the next leg of the run, I heard myself trying to talk myself out of 7 miles. I felt myself querying my body for excuses. I even heard myself think I should cut out early to get home to my daughter sooner.
No. Hell no. 7 fucking miles.
I pushed past the delayed burn and found my actual float. I let my music infect my mind and distract my body. I let the cold air piercing my cheeks call me out of my excuses.
Just keep running… Just keep running…
By the time I looped and started back on the final round, I was in it again. I felt fine; I felt like I could run forever. I had mashed myself through the wall. By the time I climbed into my car, I was fucking flying. The runner’s high practically made me dizzy; the sweet exhaustion in my muscles had me buzzing.
It was worth it.
Running brings out my alter-ego apparently. In real life, I am a cranky pessimist. I don’t try hard at anything. Running, however, I’m a fucking transcendentalist. And I just keep going. My euphoria hasn’t been from mania; it’s been this.
Let the addiction continue.