Run #1 (Christmas Eve) - Temperature was a crisp 52 degrees, with a light breeze. We had 8 miles on tap, so we decided to run on the American Tobacco Trail. While we were familiar with it, having run on it before, we parked at a newer trailhead, where there are actual bathrooms and drinking fountains:
Thanks for the fancy bathrooms, ATT people!
Well, at least the bathrooms were open. Good thing we brought our own water.
This one is the best, but the others were pretty, too.
Tree #2 - I missed getting a shot of tree #3.
Abandoned log cabin in the woods.
Our view as we ran...
Periodically the trail crosses a road before continuing into the woods.
Run #2 - A few days later we went for our second run, and this one was crazy. A cold front had blown in and it was frigid - 19 degrees, with a feels like temperature of 11. ELEVEN DEGREES! Plus there was a bit of a north wind. But it hadn't rained at all and we felt pretty secure in getting out there and not slipping on ice, so we went for it. I used the Runner's World What to Wear app to figure out how to dress, and except for not having a heavy jacket, I was pretty good with what they suggested. It helped that I had finished knitting a hat the night before, which helped keep my head and ears comfortably warm.
This was just a short run, so we decided to run and out-and-back for a total of three miles. Funny thing, we only saw two other runners out there, and two bicyclists. Most people wisely stayed inside that morning. The run went well, although my teeth hurt, and my lips were numb, and the fronts of my legs were burning cold. Oh and despite wearing two pairs of gloves, my fingers were frozen for most of the run. But you know what? It was fun. And it ended up being one of the fastest runs I've had in a long time...gee, I guess you really do run faster when you're trying to finish and get back to a warm car!
Afterward, I had to take a picture to commemorate the run - my hands were shaking from the cold so it's not the clearest picture, but it's one of my favorites:
I wasn't trying to get the walking man sculpture in the picture, but I was pleasantly surprised afterward to see that he's there.
Jeff took some pictures of the hat for me, so you can see it along with the bathrooms and grounds where the parking area is.
We crossed this road to run our out-and-back. Dang, I love this area.
Run #3 didn't happen because I simply could not force myself outside in the freezing cold, windy air. Well, I say that - after I bagged on the run and sat around drinking coffee for an hour, I was a little more willing to consider getting dressed and going outside to attempt a run, but by that time Jeff and Sam had gone out for donuts to celebrate the last day of 2017, and the donuts won out:
I mean, run in a windy, feels like temperature of 16 degrees, or stay inside and have hot coffee and donuts?
Despite ending 2017 with donuts instead of a run, I'm pretty proud of myself for all the running, walking, and Planet Fitness workouts that I did get in throughout the year. I rarely skip a workout, although to be honest, if I lived in a place where I had a true winter like what we experienced in North Carolina, I'd have to figure out some other way to get my runs in, because early morning freezing cold running does not appeal to this weather wimp. But luckily I live in mostly balmy Texas, so that's rarely an issue. Still, I'm glad I got to run in North Carolina - it's really lovely, even when it's freezing cold.