I’ve been out running each of the last three days and today I had my first solid run in vile winter weather: -5 °F, with a wind chill of -10, lots of fresh snow drifting all over the place. I had my YakTrax on and all sorts of layers, so my traction was decent and I was almost balmy, except when running straight into the strongest gusts. Each step was more work than usual because of the fresh snow, but I still covered 5+ miles and ventured along the trail beside the creek. The run was refreshing and encouraging, proof positive that I can handle being active in an upper midwest winter. I got plenty of practice dealing with winter weather in Alaska and learned to layer (onion up!) sufficiently, but Fairbanks winter was usually calm. Serious wind during these months will be a much more common challenge here.

There are 22 days left in 2009. My goal is to run or ski on 19 of them (at least 4 miles per run), taking the 3 remaining Sundays off. My legs are feeling better than they have since moving— even my left hip and right hamstring are almost fully healed! Barring some new physical breakdown, I should be able to handle this. Then, come 2010, I’ll be in the groove and ready to continue busting rump outside through the winter. After that I’ll be prepared to increase my mileage and start marathon training in early spring. I’m thinking I might run 2 marathons next year.

Screw New Year’s resolutions, it starts now! Christmas cookies will not slow me down!