Capturing the beauty of winter, one run at a time. Oh, it sounds so glamorous and inspirational. False! It’s cold. It’s dreary. It hurts to breathe. It takes everything inside of me to go out and do it – but I’ve been doing it! And in 100% truthfulness, I never regret it.
My favorite time to run has been at sunset. Eh, this is around 4:20pm here in Madison…. If there are no clouds, the cold, clear sky is all kinds of gorgeous. The light reflecting off the lakes is indescribable, magical, serene and it takes me home full of inspiration and energy. I remember snapping the two photos above on my way to Picnic Point. This was the day I was literally curled up in the fetal position on the floor in Andy’s office, borderline crying about the temperature (it was 14 with a windchill of 0) pre-run. But I got out there and ran 9 miles, taking in a sunset with a side of runner’s high.
I love seeing how the lakes change day to day, depending on the sky. It freezes, it unfreezes. It makes psychodelic swirls in the wind. It’s lonely, but it’s beautiful.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Woods in Winter plays over and over in my mind on these runs. I leave you with this:
When winter winds are piercing chill,
And through the hawthorn blows the gale,
With solemn feet I tread the hill,
That overbrows the lonely vale.
O’er the bare upland, and away
Through the long reach of desert woods,
The embracing sunbeams chastely play,
And gladden these deep solitudes.
Where, twisted round the barren oak,
The summer vine in beauty clung,
And summer winds the stillness broke,
The crystal icicle is hung.
Where, from their frozen urns, mute springs
Pour out the river’s gradual tide,
Shrilly the skater’s iron rings,
And voices fill the woodland side.
Alas! how changed from the fair scene,
When birds sang out their mellow lay,
And winds were soft, and woods were green,
And the song ceased not with the day!
But still wild music is abroad,
Pale, desert woods! within your crowd;
And gathering winds, in hoarse accord,
Amid the vocal reeds pipe loud.
Chill airs and wintry winds! my ear
Has grown familiar with your song;
I hear it in the opening year,
I listen, and it cheers me long.