December 21st is the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. Don't get me wrong, it's still 24 hours long. I mean the shortest "daylight" of the year. According to "timeanddate.com," there was only eight hours and forty-six minutes of daylight today. I can neither confirm nor deny that number as it has been cloudy and overcast the entire day, so I had a hard time telling when daylight began and dawn ended and when twilight began and daylight ended.
Although today's the shortest day of the year, tomorrow begins longer daylight hours. I cannot wait. The cold temperatures, the freezing junk falling out of the sky, the snot freezing to my face--all of that is no fun but running in the dark pretty much tops the list of nonsense for winter running.
One of the main reasons I run is for mental health, and part of that psychological benefit comes when the UV rays grace my retinas with their presence. That doesn't happen so much when I'm looking at my own reflection (as handsome as it may be) on a treadmill at the YMCA, or running with a headlamp on at 5 PM. Really? Five o'clock? Yes, that's what time headlamp season's been starting for the past few weeks.
Now, however, with the days moving in the opposite direction, it'll be no time before I start seeing the sunlight on runs that don't take place on a Saturday or Sunday. All this day-lengthening-starting-tomorrow-stuff has me so pumped I went through the lists Laura and I made for upcoming races next year. At first I wanted to go through the list and make it shorter. Bills for my dysfunctional kidneys are coming due, so I thought cutting out some racing would be an easy way to reduce the discretionary spending in our budget. I guess I'm going to need more pecuniary self-control because after I cut out a couple of races, I remembered a couple more I wanted to add. Net change to the budget was almost nil.
I think this cold, which is still keeping me from exercise, coupled with having time off of work, combined with the least amount of daylight I've had all year, has got me a little stir crazy. I got my fingers crossed that this cough and sore throat are going to be healed enough tomorrow to allow me to get a little jog in before heading to Laura's family's for the rest of the week.