Germany is foggy.
If you did not know that, then you have never lingered here long after Octoberfest.
I have become intimately aquainted with the many varieties of Franconian fog due to my early-morning jaunts into the countryside.
Running later in the day really isn’t feasible at the moment, as the daylight hours have become filled with activities, extra schoolwork, writing projects, and occasionally, cleaning the grime off things in the house. (If I could mine the deposits on my shower door, I’d be a rich woman).
The only other option, as far as running time is concerned, would be to NOT run at all, which would put my children and husband in the high risk category for emotional damage, as I would quickly burst like the button on my skinny jeans.
Which all brings me back to fog.
There is the thick, soupy fog that covers everything, making it impossible to see anything beyond the scope of the light from one’s head lamp. This blots out even the wide, dark sky, and makes you truly question your sanity, as you double-check the blinking lights on your reflective vest.
The misty fog, comprised of tiny ice crystals, makes you feel as if you’re a Gulliver, running through a snow storm of Lilliputian proportions.
There is also the fog that only becomes visible once you turn on your headlamp. At that point, you feel as if you’re in a sci-fi movie, moving at hyper speed, as bright stars (in this case, chunks of light, floating ice) rush past in white streaks.
The neatest type of fog is the kind that billows, like clouds at ground level. This kind of fog makes you feel as if you’re flying through the sky, rather than stumbling along a gravel path.
Occasionally, the clouds will part, or your head will bob out of the mist, and you can see the entire night sky stretching out all around you.
Except for the occasional gray day, the fog is mostly confined to ground level, and when it burns off later, I find myself longing for the familiar feel of the UV rays (however weak they may be) on my face.
But running in the fog has its advantages. For one thing, I always get to run as long as I like without guilt. I ran 8 miles this morning, and not even the dog, who was happily snoozing on the dirty laundry pile, noticed I was gone.
I also have the entire countryside to myself, which means I don’t have to worry about the manure trucks or gigantic harvesters, churning unbreathable things into the air.
While I do miss spying the deer, I get to experience the thrill and sudden increased heart rate when huge hawks swoop over my head.
I can also wear whatever I want, even if I look like I’m dressed for a space walk, because even if there were other humans around, it’s too dark, or foggy, to actually see any more than the lights strapped to my body.
Though it may be foggy, or cold, or dark, or all of the above, I never regret my early morning runs. In fact, they may be part of the reason I can embrace the day with a happy heart.