I have gone running twice this week, both evenings when I arrived home earlier than normal from work so there was a little bit of fading light out there for me.
Running in November in Minnesota, especially when you have an 8 to 4:30 job, requires some conquering of demons. First and foremost, there is the ever-increasing cold. Pah. I reminded myself I used to regularly go cross country skiing in similar or colder temperatures. It was 18 degrees on my car thermometer when I turned into the driveway. I have cross country ski bibs that are plenty warm for my legs, and any layering stuff will work. And winter hat and mittens, of course.
Next, there is dark. A formidable demon, considering many of us subconsciously fear the dark. But there is nothing out there, especially where I live, to fear about the dark that is not also present during the day. There isn't even a need for reflective gear; if a car happens to come along the road, an unlikely occurrence, I will have enough advance notice of it to move over if I happen to be running in the middle of the road. I don't really care if they see me or not, and sometimes would prefer that they don't.
A side note to running in the dark: I have an LED head lamp, and I ran with it once, but I ended up putting the light on the back of my head and setting it to flashing. The circle of light I get with a light source is narrowing; letting my eyes get accustomed to darkness enables me to see more overall.
Next, a few lesser demons including wind, precipitation (haven't dealt with it yet), and the overwhelming desire to just curl up in front of the woodstove in a warm blanket (which is stronger than any of the aforementioned!) However, I have surprised myself. Today, on the drive home from work, I talked myself out of running at least twice. When I got home, I sucked it up and ran.
Running has been the best medicine for me. Running makes me strong. I feel better about my body than I have in years, I feel more able to face the cold weather...and somewhere in the twilight, when I am drawing in cold breaths and hearing the testimony of dead grasses in the wind, listening to the rhythm of my feet hitting the ground...that is when I feel alive. That is when I feel both excited and subdued, but nevertheless feeling. That is when I come across moments of clarity, where I feel the presence of a higher power that gives me this strength.
I am thankful for the ability to run.