Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmastime in Michigan

I awoke on Christmas Day in the city of Marquette. Situated somewhere in the middle of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Marquette has seen snow every month of the year sans August. Naturally December is no exception. I think it’s one of the few places that saw a White Christmas this year. I sauntered out the door into light flurries. Since Michigan is so far west, the sun doesn't rise in the winter until 8:30am, which was about the time I got going. It was cold and a little windy, but not too nasty. I ran west along Lake Superior on the Marquette Bike Path until I got 3.5 miles away (according to my new Christmas present - a Garmin watch). The city was sleepy on Christmas morning. That, coupled with the light snow fall, made the setting quite peaceful. Dark green waves lapped the white coast and snow powdered the intimidating rock islands just off shore. Everything looked cold. Bone cold. I wiggled my knit hat as far low as it could go and kept on keeping on. A flock of crows cackled above and I spied a snowy owl perched atop some rocks. The crows did their best to give that old owl hell, but the owl sat there as cool as Luke and didn't go anywhere. He was damned to do anything.

My mind drifted and I thought about my family back home. It was the first Christmas I'd spent away from them and it made me a little sad, but as sad I was to be away from them, I was equally as happy to be with my girlfriend and her family here in Michigan. Okay, enough schmoopiness...

On Monday I had to get some things done in the morning so I was forced to run in the middle of the afternoon. I wanted to get in something long so I set my eyes towards Presque Isle some 5 miles away. It's a faux island that has about 5 miles worth of trails. Although everything was still covered in an inch or so of snow, it was liberating to get away from the bike cold windy bike path that hugs the Great Lake. The 5 miles "home" was brutal. Whitecaps crashed offshore and wind hindered me from actually moving forward at time. It was tough going, but deep down inside I enjoy training in harsh winter weather. I got in about 14 and, according to the trusty GPS, I averaged about 6:45s. Typically my stomach doesn't agree with me when I run at this time and that was again to be the case today. Regardless, I got it done, but by then end of the run I was pretty beat; more tired from any run in recent memory.


Anonymous said...

Good to read the travails of another winter warrior. Got in about 13 on Sunday in low temps and wind myself.


KLIM said...

It puts hair on the chest, aye?