Sunday, October 19, 2008

Colder morning run with bunnies and owls

One more story from work last week:

I was having a conversation with a coworker. She is a newer employee who had been living in the southeastern US until this past summer when she joined our company. With the weather turning cooler, she was lamenting the our recent "cold" mornings. (We have yet to even have a hard freeze in my neighborhood)

I actually expressed my appreciation for the colder weather and decided to regale her with a story from last winter. I told her I kept track of the temperature during my runs in my running log, and I calculated the average temperature during my runs from mid December to mid February, which came out to be a balmy 14.8 degrees. She looked at me and said:

“OK, you were actually outside during that? I now think you are crazy!”

Perhaps. But this is Minnesota, and if we wait for the weather to get nice before we go running, you could be waiting an awfully long time! :) Besides, they have gear for this.

I mentioned this because my Saturday morning run started at 6 AM when it was still around 35 degrees in my neighborhood. There was patchy frost in the low lying areas, and a wee bit of fog in the air, but you could still see the stars and a bright, 3/4 moon shining brightly. I needed to wear a stocking cap, gloves, my running jacket, and some long pants.

Yup, the season is changing!

Also, it is remarkable how dark it is so early these days. I broke out the headlamp for the first time since last spring. (The batteries still worked!)

But it was a wonderful run. I did 11 miles, and it was oh, so comfortable. Running in temperatures like this is so nice because you never overheat. I feel like I can run forever. Very few people were out. I only encountered six other pedestrians the whole time I was running, so the trails pretty much belonged to me. Awesome!

A wildlife note; while I was running along the edge of a swamp, I heard an owl. From the sound, I am certain in was the great horned.

It has been awhile since I have heard an owl. I tried shining my headlamp up in the trees to see if I could spot him, but no luck. As I ran onward with the moon shining brightly with wisps of fog hanging in the air, I could hear the classic, low-pitched "who-WHOOO" growing fainter. What a beautiful setting.

And people wonder why I run outside when it is "cold." :)

Oh, and there were bunnies, too. Four of them on my journey, so the ratio is down ( .36 BPM). Perhaps Mr. Owl has something to do with that? :) Hmmm....

Until next time,

Jean
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