The Case for Winter - by Katie Marquard

1984 and 1988 Olympic speed skater

I've been a runner since I was in high school, and my whole family runs outdoors year-round. It's especially invigorating in the winter, when you've been inside all day, to get out there on the trails with the cold in your face. I layer up, but it's not long before I'm sweating even on the coldest days.

Mentally, it can be a challenge to run in the winter. When there's snow on the ground and a path has been trod, it gets slippery, and you have to concentrate to keep your footing. But a perfect running day is bright and sunny with snow on the ground. There's a crispness to the winter air that's nice to run in.

I take my labradoodle, Malley, with me, and we run the trails back in the woods of the Rocky River Reservation. We can see the river as we run and often cross paths with deer or people on horseback. Malley will often run down to the river for a drink, stop to follow a scent or chase after a squirrel. I appreciate seeing the beauty of nature even in winter.

Not much keeps me from my runs. A heavy blizzard or extremely cold temperatures, perhaps. But that stuff doesn't faze me. Growing up in St. Paul, Minn., I got pretty accustomed to cold weather and lots of snow. When I hear people complaining about winter in Cleveland, I say, "This is nothing." It would be pretty boring if it was nice and sunny every day.

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