Keep Your Lady Balls In Check

My bed has sucked my morning mojo out of me. My OkCupid profile claims that I’m an extreme morning person, I’ve always said I’d rather wake at 5am rather than stay up until the wee hours of the morning. I love enjoying a cup of coffee or tea alone with a book, my journal or my computer. I love the alone time of the early AM and savor every minute I’m up before my roommates are. But since I bought the bed that I wanted, the firm mattress my back craves, the cozy down comforter I stole from my mother’s house when I moved, the pillows that support my neck just right–I have a really hard time getting up. The bed swallows me up and hugs me tight so I am unable to leave when, in the past, I would normally wake.
Things I enjoy doing in the morning: running, reading, writing, researching, cooking, journaling… my basic brain function is best between the hours of 6am and about 2pm. After that I can’t promise my best self, my best attitude, or my best effort to care about anything. So in an effort to be a better human being I’m trying to get up earlier again.
Yesterday the alarm went off at 5:16, yes, a Sunday alarm set for 5:16. By 5:42 I had laced my running shoes, buddled up as much as possible and set off to run five miles before the sun was set to rise at 6:49am. I’m determined to run all winter long and train for a January half-marathon. In college I did, why not now? So Sunday morning was to prove to myself that I still have the lady balls to get out there and log the miles–no matter how far below freezing Chicago gets!
The still morning reminded me how quiet the streets of Thailand were when I began my training there. However the temperature difference, the idea of quiet alone time was still the same. Morning mediation on my feet. Discovering what the city looks like, smells like, feels like, early in the morning is something I’ve done every place I’ve lived and visited. This was a first for me in Chicago–I’ve walked the streets late at night after a night out with friends, exploring new bars, parks and taken bus rides to avoid the cold or heat. But nothing compares to being on foot, alone on streets you’ve walked or rode a bunch of times before the sun peaks above the skyline.
Everything looks different in the morning. Stores are asleep, coffee shops are just blinking an eye to be awake and get the day started–running past them shut down and dark the city looks so different, it looks at peace.
I am at peace when I’m out there. My run yesterday cleared my head for the day to come, set my schedule and tired my legs. At my turn around point there was a bank clock and thermometer that read “6:04am 14 degrees”. Now I KNOW I can run that far, in that cold, that early. Every time I do that I have mixed emotions; now I know I can do it, so that means I can’t wuss out–and now I have to one up myself, I have to go further, earlier and when it’s colder just to prove to myself I can.

This morning I wussed out so I could spend the early moments reading and writing. But tomorrow, tomorrow is a new day and winter is only getting colder.

Forgetting Winter.

I forgot the noise of scrapping ice off a car windshield. I forgot the itchy skin and staticy, flat hair. I forgot about shoveling snow and the bottoms of my jeans getting wet as I walk down the sidewalk. I forgot about hats that keep my head warm rather than just tame the fizzy mess on my head.

I forgot the beauty of the first snow, the untouched street art that is created when it falls. I forgot dogs with their snouts down running full speed to collect as much fluffy moisture as possible. I forgot catching snowflakes on my tongue, missing and letting it melt on my nose. I forgot icicles.

I forgot that feeling your stomach gets when you almost fall on the ice but you catch yourself, and then smile. I forgot driving in dirty slush and salt stained car doors. I forgot chapped lips, cracked cuticles and cozy beds that suck you in for hours. I forgot the comfort of hot chocolate.


I forgot Winter.



Even Hot Soccer Players Do It

Winter has finally hit us here in the valley. Usually I think of February as nearing the end of winter, but Papa Winter has hit us with a cold blast that no one was expecting—atleast I wasn’t. I was happy running in knickers and a short-sleeved top; now I’m still in the knickers (because I lost my pants,) but have layered on a long zip up, a fleece vest, gloves and hat.


So, seasoned runners, I must ask: come wintertime do you utilize the best booger-removal-system we have available to us? The epic Snot Rocket? (Definition here.) I even have a fleece sleeve that goes over my hand or glove to act as a snot wipe, I think I got it at some race–pretty awesome if you ask me. Today on my bike ride to work I was forced to clear both nostrils using the only method I had available, and it worked out in my favor each time—trust me, there were multiple times, I’m on the verge of a cold. No snot on my clothes, shoes, passersby– I was pretty impressed with myself and so was the guy walking his dog. (HEY, at least I wasn’t picking up poop!)

I think as runners and cyclists we are given a free pass on blowing all we got on the road while we’re in running clothes. Those in normal street clothes? It is not okay. Please use a tissue, and preferable excuse yourself to the restroom. Thanks.

Super hot soccer player blowing a snot rocket

Super hot soccer player blowing a snot rocket

Who knows how long this weather will last? It could be 60 tomorrow for all I know, but for now I’ll be bundling up!