Some of you know that when the sun angles are low at noon and the tree leaves begin to die due to lack of their lifeblood, chlorophyll, I am inspired do strange things like bake gluten-free bread, dipping it in butter and honey before consumption; dig baggy, fleecy pants from the depths of the closet and wear them around the house with my wool socks; and obsessively check http://www.lastminute.de for Pauschalreisen to destinations, anywhere in the world, that boast palm trees, sand, and an ocean.
Have I mentioned that I am solar-powered?
The only reason I can come up with for having lived 12 years, 11 months in Alaska was that my doctor was kind enough to give me drugs.
Here in Germany, things are better. I am drug-free (with the exception of vitamins), and the low sun angles don’t cause me to lament (as I did in the arctic): “It is NOT NATURAL for people to live here!”
The real cause for my autumnal doldrums in beautiful Deutschland is that when it is cold, dark, and possibly raining at 5:30 am, I would rather stay under my cozy feather comforter than get out of bed.
However, this morning I fought my way out of my cocoon, got out my headlamp and glow-in-the-dark shirt, and hit the farm roads.
Being solar-powered, I don’t like running in the dark nearly as much as I enjoy running with the sun on my face, but I know that even on the worst days, when I’m sure my nose will have to be amputated due to frostbite, and I KNOW that my run must be THE slowest run in the history of mankind, and I grumble the entire time about the sucky weather/darkness/trail/aches/fatigue/life-in-general, I also know I have NEVER regretted going for a run.
Naturally, I have some observations and tips on running through the dark German countryside, should you ever get the chance to join me:
- Your sense of smell will be enhanced
- Potent farm aromas motivate you to run faster
- Your sense of hearing will be enhanced
- You can hear cows snoring
- Your imagination is enhanced, and if not channeled properly, you will be certain critters are hiding in the fields, waiting to pounce on you
- Sugar beet harvesters look like giant, alien spacecraft in the dark–do not be afraid!
- Some farmers harvest REALLY early
- Dark spots on the path MUST be avoided, even if you have to give a little leap mid-stride (trust me on this–you’ll thank me later!)
- Dark spots on the path are squishy
- Your dog will want to roll around on your shoes if you have stepped in a dark spot on the path
- Always check the batteries on your headlamp BEFORE going out
- A dying headlamp makes running with no moon more exciting but not particularly more pleasant
- Come to a complete halt before staring at the stars
I had a fabulous six-mile run this morning and was completely energized when I got home. Though I feel out of shape (from too much bread–thanks to Bofrost’s new line of gluten-free yummies), running is something I have to do for my own sanity–especially this time of year, when palm tress and oceans seem out of reach.