Monday will be the winter solstice, the darkest day of the year.
Frankly, it can't come fast enough for me. Once Monday comes around, the days slowly but inexorably get longer. More sunlight. A slighty earlier dawn. More time to run in daylight.
For those of us who hold down jobs, this has been a dark time.
I can't remember the last weekday I ran without wearing my Petzl headlamp and reflective vest. Early October, maybe? Nearly all my marathon training was in the dark, but the December goal race was what inspired me to get up before 5 a.m. and hit the dark, deserted streets of Davis.
Now, during recovery, motivation is harder to come by. It took every fiber in my being, and a tremendous force of will, to leave the house at 5:03 (according to my trusty Garmin) this morning for a 6-mile threshold run. Normally, I don't mind running in the fog, because that means no wind. And I hate the wind with a passion I normally reserve for rattlesnakes and opponents to health-care reform.
But the fog was so heavy and such a soupy mess this morning that I actually felt a little scared putting one foot in front of the other. I ran a well-trod route with a camber I'm accustomed to, but still each stride was like stepping off a cliff. It actually was nice when the few cars I past approached, because the lights helped me orient to the road.
Now, I know what you're saying: Dude, why don't you run during the day, say, at lunch? Not an option for me in my current job.
So darkness it is. But, come Monday, we will have turned the corner on the out-and-back calendar and start slowly heading toward the light.
Please remind me in August, when I'm whining about the heat, that at least it's not dark and cold and miserable.