Thursday, December 13, 2007

Dark days

I'm sitting at my desk at 10 am and the sun has not yet risen. Soon we'll be entering the last week before the winter solstice and man it is dark. This will be my first year to be in Alaska on the solstice. The past two years I have left around December 16th to go home for Christmas.

My runs have been uneventful this week. I'm now running about 4-5 hours a week, but except for the weekend runs, I run in the dark. I leave my house sometime after 7am and run into the darkness, return in the darkness, shower and get ready for work, still darkness. Get to work, dark. Lunchtime, it looks like dusk. Around 3pm it starts to get dark again.

But for some reason it has not bothered me. For the past two years I remember starting to get some mild depression sometime around the 10th of December (this week) and that has not happened this year. I attribute that to my running and being really busy. Until today I hadn't really thought about the lack of sunlight. What kicked it off today was that I have become bored with my morning run. When you run in the dark, it doesn't matter where you go, it all looks the same. I know the Chugach Mountains are sprawled out in front of me as I pass under the Lake Otis bridge, but I can't see them.

I need to push really hard through this period in my running, because boredom is the number one motivation crusher for me. Right now I'm running Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Next week I'll add Monday, so I'll be running 5 days a week. The only time that I can run during the week is before 8am and after 7pm. I need suggestions on how to spice up my running routine! Can anyone help?

Aside from running, I am quite enjoying the darkness. After coming in from the cold at night, I make a cup of tea and snuggle up on the couch to watch a movie, or snuggle up in bed to read a book. The darkness makes it cozy. I think I'm ready for the solstice. My cat Migsy is also curling up in the darkness of her house made of Alaskan Winter Ale boxes...


Geoff said...

for spicing up your running routine you might want to try snowshoe running on trails that are otherwise too snowy to run on. it's a very tough workout but definitely a good way to add some variety. just don't get too discouraged about how slow you move on snowshoes.

the other thing you could try is doing some treadmill running. i know it doesn't get much more boring than running on a treadmill but variety really is the spice of life. i find that when i get bored with running the same routes everyday (like now in juneau where all the trails are snowed in but not with enough snow so that snowmobiles and skiers can get them packed in so they're good for running) hitting the treadmill is almost fun. i've done a couple runs on the treadmill the past few weeks and it's actually been somewhat enjoyable simply because these are the first treadmill runs i've done in about a year.

Brian said...

"house made of Alaskan Winter Ale boxes"...Hmmm. I guess you can tell what I've been doing to counteract he darkness.