It’s Tuesday, so that means a tempo-paced barefoot treadmill run. Light weights and stretching yesterday and tomorrow, another treadmill run on Friday, a couple of outdoor runs on the weekend. Winter’s rhythms are here.

It’s appropriate, I guess, that today’s the winter solstice. For those of us in the northern hemisphere, it’s the beginning of the long climb from darkness to light. For me, it’s time to do a different kind of training, to read a lot, think a lot, and prepare physically and mentally for the coming year.

The rhythm I’m in now will last for another month. At the end of January, I’ll start a training program that will take me to my early season goal race, the Self-Transcendence 6 Hour on June 4, with the Around the Bay 30K and the Mississauga Half Marathon along the way as training races. Then the rhythm will change again, and I’ll do long barefoot runs in the summer heat to prepare for the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in October.

I like having these changing rhythms. In a way, it’s my religion. Not just my way of meditating and connecting to something that makes me more human than I would be otherwise, but also a seasonal cycle of discipline, feast days, and celebrations. The year’s ongoing rhythms ground me, teach me, and, over time, will enlighten me.


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