Run Cocoon

During a week of intense uncertainty and worry, the running routine has become an effort to keep emotions in check and preserve some aspect of normal.

I’ve been unexpectedly grateful for the cold snap in our area. Cold has scattered people to indoor havens, leaving a more conducive environment for rumination. The few people left outside concentrate on their own matters, allowing my feelings to roam in open air.

My running pace surges, heaves, and pauses in time with my thoughts, but only to a certain point. Too much shoegazing and the unsentimental cold scrapes my cheeks, or teams up with the wind to deliver an ice cream headache and yank on my ears. I get the message and pad off in search of the run cocoon.

Snow day run

The run cocoon is a blanket of shelter that I weave for myself with the continued movement of my limbs. My arms swing lightly as my feet rock back and forth. I bend my body into the headwind. Gradually, the ache in my forehead fades, hands grow warm under my wool mittens, and the head heats from the inside out.

My steady though inelegant gait wraps me in the run cocoon. Feet step along and emotions flow out. The coziness of my self-generated run cocoon contrasts against the frigid air and my worries and fears momentarily lessen.

Some people dislike the cold weather and retreat inside, but if they just ran around a bit they might find their own run cocoon and like it. I do. The cold reminds me it’s good to keep moving forward, even during less-than-ideal times.

18 thoughts on “Run Cocoon

  1. Hum, now I am really intrigued to know where you are from and if your cold is as cold as our cold here in Montreal. It’s funny how in December and January all my running friends and I were saying how wonderful it was to run in winter time and now this enthusiast has begun to dried up, so it seem. Most of us here are trying to keep up the motivation to go out in the minus 25 degree Celsius (around -10 Fahrenheit). I feel what you are saying though about the running cocoon. You have an unique way of describing this special feeling. Congratulation on an well written article.

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    1. Hi Julie, I’m from Iowa and currently live in Washington, D.C. In D.C., we do not endure the temperatures you do in Montreal, but we’ve been having a few cold days here with siginificant wind. I think the cold days are probably easier to enjoy when they don’t last as long and don’t drop below zero farenheit.

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  2. good way to state it.
    maybe that’s where i am when i snowshoe in the freezing cold, in a cocoon where i create my own micro-environment.
    i’m so glad you found your bliss in the cold and snow. so many people hate it. i knew you’d be stronger than that.

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  3. I have always thought of it as the transition from “going out for a run” to “being the run.” It always takes a mile or 4 to happen, and it doesn’t always happen, but it is amazing when it does. There have been days when I suddenly realized I am at mile 8 (or whatever), almost home, and I haven’t really had a thought since mile 2. Sometimes I can think back and remember things, but often I can just smile, remembering only the feeling.

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