The end of summer is always so bitter for me. I thought to write that it was “bittersweet” because that’s what you say at the end of something really wonderful–like a youthful love affair–but there’s nothing sweet about the end of summer for me. Oh, there’s the turning of the leaves and the gorgeous reds and golds of fall; and there’s the mysterious morning fog that inspires the writing of angsty poetry. Nonetheless, the end of summer is the beginning of a very long winter in my part of the world, and winter is hard for me every year.

I’m giving some serious thought about how to navigate the dark days and still keep my energy up. Running is a part of that, of course. When I first started running several years ago, I wasn’t a naturally outdoorsy person by any stretch. I’ve always been a sit-inside-with-a-book-on-a-rainy-day kind of person. But when I started training for marathons, I made a commitment to myself that I was going to run come snow or fog, rain or shine, hell or high-water. I’ve kept that promise.

This morning we have the first hard rain we’ve had in several weeks. I’m up early to walk the Bellingham Bay Marathon 5K with my friend, Colleen Haggerty. Yes, I want to support the cause of the Prosthetic Outreach Foundation. And yes, I want to enjoy the energy always present at the start of a marathon (particularly one in which I know so many runners). But getting out in the rain to move my body when my heart wants to be inside with coffee and a book is medicine for my winter-resistant soul.

What do you do to get through the winter?

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