Those short(er) days of fall/winter get to most everyone. I have noticed that, as I get more in to endurance sports, I not only notice the shorter days but they really affect my lifestyle: less time to ride outside, more time on the trainer; getting in (and out) of the pool while it is dark, dark runs, and more.
As the days got shorter early this fall I would see friends and we would bemoan the implication: daylight hours are shorter than dark hours….and what it meant. Sigh….
As much as I dislike the short days, there are certain things that I really do enjoy about this time of the year. And right now, as we near our shortest days, it seems like a good time to say them out-loud.
1) You can sleep later….at least on weekends. OK – for me anything past 5 a.m. is “late” (or “later”) but in the summer even sleeping until 5 a.m. can be a reach with long rides, long drives to rides, and trying to beat the heat for runs. Come winter – you ride later, you can run later because you are not trying to beat the heat. I love it!
2) Riding late (er). During the summer I am often out riding by 8 a.m. Come winter….why? I have had rides start as late as 11 a.m. (and we still get our complete rides in), and have friends starting their rides (outside) as late as (or later than) 2 p.m. Why not? This really pushes some of my comfort zone as, to not ride/run first thing is nerve wracking (something may pop up), but I also LOVE it – I get to change up the routine – do things besides train first thing on weekend mornings. Holy revelation!
3) I get the cooking bug. It’s colder, and I am looking for someplace warm. Cooking in the kitchen is the perfect solution!
4) Winter vegetables: brussel sprouts, kale, acorn squash. Those are my known favorites….well…kale depends on how it is prepared. And I looked up winter vegetables – so many more I need to try. Some day I WILL try fennel!
5) Citrus fruit is in season! Hooray 🙂
6) The motivation of “the cold”: actually starting the process of taking off that nice, warm outer layer is SO hard. But once you start, you are all in…trusting you will warm up and revel in training at a comfortable temperature.