No, you are not being held up or stalked. You are not victim of, or witness to, nuclear fallout.
This is the Matron -- Addict -- on a frigid Minnesota run. Note black of night? That would be 6:30 am.
If you run when the wind chill is below zero and regular old air temp hovering at that number (or below), you wear:
- purple and red polyester leggings followed by
- high-end REI ski pants, followed by
- one more pair of high-end REI ski pants and on the top
- poly t-shirt followed by
- one more poly t-shirt and then
- long sleeved cotten Columbia ski shirt
- and REI (meaning really warm and insulated) long-sleeved shirt and then you put on
- thermal vest and next it's the
- jacket and then you find the walkman and
- make sure it's on Public Radio of any Kind and once it's on, shove
- the fleece neck warmer over that (and your ears) and put on one small pink hat followed by
- the larger green one and finally, take
- the thermal socks and tennis shoes from the radiator where they've been warming
- overnight and put those on.
If there's ice, you strap rubber thingies with ice picks onto the bottom of your running shoes.
You will never fall, except the one time your entire family is standing at the front door to watch.
You will have no interest in marathons or 5 K's or (gasp) anything remotely communal regarding this ritual.
But you arrive home after the four miles--alone, uninterrupted, invincible, perhaps certifiable--spent and satisfied, able to smile in the midst of Need and Chaos that awaits.