Winter is definitely here.  It’s always a challenge to run when it starts getting bitter outside.   When you add in the snow, the challenge is greater.  For the first time this week I ran with Yak Trax on.  It took a little getting used to.  I noticed I was tensing up so much, just waiting for the fall – which never happened.   I think the memories of my falling many years ago down icy steps and having a compression fracture in my upper spine will always be in the back of my mind when running or even walking when it’s slippery out.  I just need to overcome that fear.

Because of the weather, and the fact that I can be a little bit of a baby when it comes to the cold, winter mornings, I worked out in my basement more than ran this week.   A home gym you ask?  Definitely not.   I have some free weights, a step box, and workout videos!!  No Jane Fonda here.   My favorites are a series of videos called The Firm.  Now these aren’t The Firm tapes that were sold on TV in the ’90s with the fancy gadgets.   They were republished in the 2000s, but you can tell by the way the trainer and participants are dressed that they were made in the late ’80s to early ’90s.  The trainers do some tough workouts, and I like to use weights in the range of 10 to 15 pounds for the moves.

With more snow predicted for this week, I’ll be seeing a lot more of my basement!

My weights lined up and ready to go.

My weights lined up and ready to go.

IMG_1018In garden news this week, I spent the afternoon at one of my favorite places, Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve.   This place took me beyond organic gardening and into the world of native gardening.    Each Sunday in winter they have a lecture on a range of topics from Tiger Beetles to building a backyard wildlife pond.  They even have a 5k run that’s held on the trails through the preserve.   If you have something like this in your area, consider becoming a member and supporting native plant habitat.  There’s so much to be learned about native plants and our local habitats that can make you a better and more productive gardener, and help the local wildlife too.

IMG_1023Their pond area is beautiful at all times of the year.   We spent about an hour here last summer, just watching the tadpoles, dragon flies, and frogs doing what they do.   It was so relaxing just to be with nature.  My goal is to put a small wildlife pond in my backyard in the coming year, just to see if I can attract some frogs and dragonflies to our yard.

IMG_1024And of course, it always helps to have a place to sit and enjoy the view.

Happy running and gardening!

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