Yesterday I really, really didn’t feel like running. I was at work on a very slow day, and I’ve been battling a cold all week. I had tried to go out running after my stomach had settled from Christmas feasting, and had almost frozen to a block before getting to the end of my street, therefore calling it quits a half mile in.

5 miles were on tap for last night, and envisioning my 2.5 mile out and back route, all I could think about was how cold it was, how much I wanted to hide in my blankets and read, and how much I wished I could stop sniffling. Now, probably running 5 miles in the freezing cold didn’t do much to help my sniffles, but what was stronger was the desire to get the miles in. To be ready for Charleston. To not quit before even starting.

When I complained about my lack of energy to my friend Corrie before getting off work, all she had to say were a few words of cheerleading and I was ready to go. “5 miles is cake for you now! Just an hour out of your day and then you’re done and can enjoy your night!”

Amazing what just a little boost can do to your motivation. I set off with my Christmas gift cards to the sporting goods store and bought a balaclava to keep cover my runny nose and easily chapped lips, found a basic dri-fit black half-zip I’ve been wanting as well, zipped through a few more errands, and feeling terrifically productive, got home to lace up.

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Strapping on my thumb-holed base layer, reflective jacket, new Garmin watch, running gloves, and bank robber face mask, I felt… interesting. Like I was all locked into my shell of protective cold-weather gear. Heading out onto the pavement I felt this sense of anonymity that can be so delicious when normal everyday is all social media and celebrity news and simple plain old wondering what people think of me. It hadn’t occurred to me before just how self-conscious I sometimes feel when cars pass me while I’m running. I was safe with my reflective jacket, but I realized I like running at night because fewer of my neighbors will have the chance to see it’s me chugging along up a hill. The balaclava added that nobody could see my face even if they tried, and it felt kinda cool.

I did freak out one kid waiting for a bus, though.

I’m still getting used to my Garmin, and I wish the backlight stayed on (maybe it can and I haven’t figured it out yet) because continually having to look down to find the button to press it while getting to know how my Garmin works while I’m actually running was frustrating. I can tell you one thing though, it’s not impressed with my freezing trudging speed. It was hard work getting those limbs moving in that temperature.

Which leads me to the most frustrating part of the run, though, which was how achy I felt. It felt less like possible injuries and more like my bones, muscles and joints protesting the cold. As warm as I stayed throughout the run for the most part, it was irritating to feel so achy. I read somewhere that the body constricts to try and keep itself warm in the cold, therefore making your tendons feel tighter. Perhaps I’m a little vitamin deficient, so today I made sure to pack an orange and two bananas for my breakfast and I had salmon for lunch for vitamin C and D, as well as omega 3 fatty acids for bringing down any inflammation.

Tonight I have 3.5 miles on tap to make up for Christmas day, and then I plan to “lubricate my joints” on the elliptical and with some hand weights for cross training.

The poet George Herbert said, “Every mile is two in winter.” Boy do I feel it.

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