November is always the official start of coldness to me. November seems grey and chilly in my mind. At least outside. The leaves are mostly fallen. The grass has dulled from the brilliant green it was, to a dimmer more sullen green and brown. It's darker out in the morning, darker in the afternoon, and that means it's harder to motivate myself to get out of the house.
Last year was the first that I ran outside all winter. Not a lot mind you, but at least once a week. I had joined a group, the Onterora Runners Club, on their Monday night runs around Dietz stadium and its surrounding neighborhoods. It's a great group to run with, and knowing they were there got me out on some chilly nights. I attained some cold weather gear: gloves especially for running, insulated jackets, tall socks, and thermal leggings.
I've somehow drifted from the group. I could list excuses of my work hours changing, or rationalizations of Mondays being my most tiring day. Instead I'll just say that I do honestly miss it, and I hope the cold drives me to catch up with them.
When my alarm goes off now, it still seems to be nighttime. I slide out from the bed into the frigid air of my bedroom. I usually have my running clothes left out nearby, half laziness, half inspiration. I want to run, I really do. The cold and dark just works against me. But it's worth it after the first mile. That first one though, it's cold. My feet seem to hit the ground extra hard. My eyes water. My nose becomes a faucet that I can't control. My hands tense up and tighten and I realize I need to dig my gloves out of storage as soon as possible. No one else is out. A few cars. When I get to the track there are some walkers bundled up with hats and scarves. By mile three I can take my sweatshirt off.
It's only November 5th.
Bring on the cold.