No Geminids For You

I ran this morning, and it was gorgeous.

But it bloody well shouldn’t have been. It’s the middle of December, for goodness’ sake. When I go out for a 5 AM run, I should be reaching for the tights (yes, male runners can wear tights, shut up), gloves and hat, not for the sleeveless tee and lightweight shorts. The temperature was in the mid 60s with just a hint of rain in the air; in fact, I got spritzed by a delightful little sprinkle here and there throughout the jaunt.

Ideal running weather, in other words. Winter runs shouldn’t be so gorgeous. You run through the winter so that you can lament the balmy, breezy runs of the fall. You run through the winter to build up your stamina so that when spring rolls around you can pull off the chocks and blow your old records away. You run through the winter so that you can feel a measure of thankfulness for the runs you endured in the ninety-degree days and eighty-degree nights of summer.

You run in the winter, in other words, to suffer, goldfinger it, not to breezily traipse through a leisurely three miles and return home, having hardly broken a sweat.

I’d say that the weather is all out of whack, but, given as I live just outside Atlanta, it would seem that the weather is functioning exactly as intended. Next week we’ll no doubt see ice on our front lawns, to be followed by another record-breaking heatwave. January will probably start off with a rain of toads and a plague of locusts before simmering down to a balmy forty degree average or so.

But when I said the weather this morning was gorgeous, that was a lie. I was hoping for a clear sky. Why? Well…

A photographer looks at the sky at night to see the annual Geminid meteor shower on the Elva Hill, in Maira Valley, near Cuneo, northern Italy on December 12, 2015.

It seems to be a function of the lovely and totally predictable and well-behaved Atlanta weather that I be deprived of witnessing any astronomical points of interest this year. A few months ago, the Supermoon was in town, and I missed it thanks to a blanket of unproductive cloud cover. About a season earlier, there was a meteor shower that I missed for the same reason. This week, the Geminid meteor shower is in full display… apparently. Of course, I wouldn’t know, because once again, there’s a sheet of clouds lying low over the entire area keeping me from seeing a damn thing.

With that luck firmly in place, during the total solar eclipse in 2017, here in Atlanta, we’ll miss it thanks to a patch of cloud that passes over right around noon.

It’ll probably still be a gorgeous day for a run.

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