Monday, January 5, 2009

Iced coffee

If you live in Chicago then you know how long and tortuous the winter can be. Especially if you're an athlete: Every single digit degree on the thermometer reminding you how much easier it is to be fit in the summer. Here's a typical weekday morning for me: Alarm goes off at 615am and I groggily rise to snooze it. After a couple more snoozes I wander into the kitchen to brew some coffee. With a steaming mug in my hand I putter into my study and flip on the lamp (it's still pitch-black outside) before checking Accuweather for the temp. "Oh gosh," I almost always think with a sinking heart, "10 degrees?!?! Negative five real feel?!?!" (Let's be honest though, by February this chill will seem balmy in comparison to the tundra we're then experiencing.)

It's at this point that I stare at the screen and contemplate my options. Will I, A) Get in bed and fall back to sleep under my warm, cozy covers, B) Sit surfing the web and drinking more and more coffee until it's time to get ready for work, or C) Bundle up and head outside for my run? For the months of November and December, options A and B were always sorta on the table because it was the "off-season." But today officially marks my first day of training for the Boston Marathon, so I'm (gulp!) a C-girl from here on out.

I'm a little scared, to be honest. I've done a couple of spring marathons, but I trained for those while living in New York City....where it rarely gets as cold or as icy or as gusty as it does in Chicago and where runners put in their miles in the relatively wind-protected confines of Central Park. Maybe I'm just jaded or too weather-obsessed, but to me NYC might as well be the tropics compared to what we suffer through from January to March. The reality is that it's easier to get into shape when the sun is shining warmly. But I'm determined to do this thing, so for the next three months I'm going to sip my mug of coffee and then I'll head into the dark, cold morning and put in my miles. And you know what? I think the first warm day of Spring 2009 will be the sweetest one yet. Posted by Liz

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