On a Saturday in January

Yesterday started out as a cold, slightly breezy morning.  After waking early enough for a bowl of cereal, Special K Cinnamon Pecan if you must know (a crunchy mix of rice and wheat flakes, sprinkled with cinnamon and pecans), and a cup of coffee (Starbucks, Italian Roast), I dressed for a morning run.  The first challenge on a cold morning such as this is to convince yourself to leave that warm comfortable bed, knowing you will be facing sub-freezing temperatures.  The second challenge is to pick the right combination of layers so you are warm enough at the start, but not overheated after the first mile.  Donning long tights, an undershirt I usually use for cycling, a long-sleeve thickly woven running top, a knit cap, and cheap knit gloves, I headed out the back door.

About sixteen degrees, a bit of snow on the leaves.

About sixteen degrees, a bit of snow on the leaves.

Checking the thermometer, I saw it was about 16 degrees, but the sun was starting to rise, and with it the temperature.  I pulled my backpack over my shoulders and headed out for my run, the pack carrying clothing for a change once the run was over.  I did a nice warmup 2 mile run to my friend Brandon’s house.  It was still quite cold, though, and my fingers, the parts I could feel, were stinging inside my gloves.  But, the rest of me felt comfortable.  Only an inch or two of snow had fallen the night before, and it was light enough that a few folks were out early sweeping it off their sidewalks with a broom rather than shoveling.  The street was patchy with spots of snow and ice, but mostly clear.

Meeting up with Brandon, I could see he had the same idea about dressing.  Don’t dress too heavy, since one will warm up and start to sweat no matter how cold.  I dropped my backpack in his living room.

Brandon, ready to run our usual Saturday loop.

Brandon, ready to run our usual Saturday loop.

We started our run, heading down to the Cooper River, for a loop around the park.  The breeze was still in our faces, and it did sting, but as we got into the run, we warmed up.  Sharing our own news of the week, discussing philosophical issues, talking about current events, with the occasional mention of beer, we proceeded around the park, staying on the road rather than the path, which was snow covered.

The Cooper Yacht Club, with the snow covered boats overlooking a snow covered frozen river.

The Cooper Yacht Club, with the snow covered boats overlooking a snow covered frozen river.

The sun still hadn’t quite made it over the trees yet, so we were still running in the shadows, but the air felt crisp and clean.  I thought about the reports of the thick smog in Beijing, glad we could run where the air is clean.

Cooper River Boat House on a snowy January morning.

Cooper River Boat House on a snowy January morning.

Across the Cooper River, frozen, and with a layer of snow atop the ice, the Cooper River Boat House stood out, with no rowers planning a workout on the river today.  The rowing machines indoors will, no doubt, get used this day.  We continued our run around the river, over the newly constructed pedestrian bridge along Route 130, to the other side.  We’ve heard this bridge is temporary, but the consensus is we, being the runners who use it, rather like it and hope it achieves permanent status.  Farther down the run, we got into a trail in the woods.  We seem to have been the first to come this way this morning, judging by our tracks.

Tracks in the woods on a snowy day.

Tracks in the woods on a snowy day.

The geese, whose original home as I understand it is Canada, but who have made a permanent home of South Jersey, were closely gathered in the remaining unfrozen water, jostling for position and making a racket.

Geese in the remaining unfrozen water.

Geese in the remaining unfrozen water.

The last part of the run heads back up a hill to the streets of Brandon’s neighborhood.  The sun had finally come out.  My glasses had taken on their usual fog, my hat was moist with sweat, and it was a good run of seven miles.  We headed indoors for a cup of tea (Taylor’s of Harrowgate, breakfast tea).


Leave a comment


  1. I’m glad you included pictures! My fingers were too cold this weekend to take any of the beautiful sights.

  2. Thanks, Maria. The camera was a last minute thought, and Brandon was nice enough to hold up while I was capturing the scenery.

  3. Hey! I nominated you for the liebster award! Check out my blog for details and if you are interested I can e-mail you a set of questions to participate.

  4. Brandon

     /  January 31, 2013

    Great pictures and great run. I always look forward to our Satrurday runs.

    • Thanks, Brandon. I do, too. It looks like it was the right day to take photos, given how the weather changed so dramatically.


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