Wow. My neighborhood is pretty hilly, but there’s this one hill at the end of our neighborhood that’s a bitch to climb. I muscle through it every weekend to do my longer runs, which extend out of my neighborhood and onto some of the side streets, but for the past month or so I’ve been trying to do one night of hill work where I really conquer that hill a couple of times. Right now, I’m just doing it twice with a little recovery in between (basically, I pass the hill twice normally, so now I run up/down it instead of passing it) – I’m hoping to get to a point where I can climb it faster and more often. We’ll get there. For now, I’m just glad I’m not afraid of it anymore!
Tonight’s run was great. Despite the cold and the breeze (I won’t say “wind” because apparently we haven’t seen wind yet this week … that’ll come on Sunday when I’m to run again), I had a good time. I love running around Christmastime because I can enjoy and critique the neighborhood’s light displays. From our neighbor who has one of the most gorgeous light setups I’ve ever seen (he basically strings lights down from the tip of his house to the ground so that they look like a Christmas tree … I find them more and more stunning every year), to the all-red displays that make me think that maybe Satan is celebrating in that house (I’ve never understood the all-red displays to be honest). Plus everything in between, including the seizure-inducing spiral tree around the corner. Not that we’re perfect – we have only one of two trees lit, and I have very few outdoor things on display, and I’m ashamed to say we haven’t had a chance to do our windows yet. My parents always have a gorgeous (yet Griswald-esque) display, and I aspire to be able to have my house look like theirs someday. In the meantime, I run around the neighborhood taking notes on what to (and not to) do in the future.
Also (and this is my dirty little secret), the nighttime runs in the winter allow me to peep into people’s houses to see how they’ve decorated. In the wintertime, it gets darker earlier, so everyone’s homes are lit up and if they don’t have their shades down or curtains covering the windows, you can see in and see what their tastes are like. I love peeping in as I run past to see everything from a lovely deep brown covering the front hallway to a myriad of what-were-they-thinking shades in bedrooms and living rooms. It gives me great ideas for redecorating (much to Will’s dismay). So, as much as I might whine about the cold in coming months (and believe me, I will), its really fun to get to see what people’s houses are like in the dark. (A hint to my neighbors – shut the shades!)