The winter holidays are normally a tough time of the year for me. Anyone who has lost a close family member can relate.
But one of the joys I find are the times that running friends find to celebrate the season. This year, a group of us gathered early on Christmas Eve in downtown Fargo so we could remember 2012 and encourage each other for the coming year. Many have races in the early part of 2013, while others simply find comfort and motivation in the company.
Christmas Eve greeted us with some bitter wind chill temps, but it just reinforces our commitment to run. I showed up a little early, running a few times up one of the parking ramps for a bit of a strength workout, and then we gathered as a group. For good measure, I added another ramp onto the end of my run, while a few runners did more.
Back in Bemidji on Christmas Day, I took an hour to spin on the indoor trainer, and then bundled up with Riley for a 4-plus mile jog around the neighborhood. I expected the sub-zero wind chills to feel a bit worse; we enjoyed a cloudless evening sky with barely a breath of wind.
This morning, reinforced by my commitment to reinvent myself as an athlete in 2013, I headed out early, this time without Riley. I simply needed some time to gather my thoughts, enjoy the solitude of the post-holiday morning, and focus on the days and weeks ahead.
Soon, we’ll be greeting the new year, but until then I need to keep pushing on as I work to position myself for success in a few key races next year, including a possible long trail race in early 2013.