Friday, March 29, 2013

There's a spring in my stride

What is not to love about spring?  The fresh air.  The reappearance of robins. The disappearing snow.  The longer hours of daylight. The emergence of flowers.  And that first hot, sweaty run of the season!

I run outside, all year long.  In the hot, humid summer. In the cool, crisp autumn. In the frigid, snow-covered winter. But my absolute favorite season is spring.

Even though I am outside all winter long, I feel like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon in the spring.  Suddenly, the air smells fresher (well, MOST days it does....I live in Iowa, and some days that fresh air is not so fresh, especially when the area farmers are fertilizing their fields).  The trees gradually provide more shade as the leaves begin budding.  The white show is replaced periodically with mud, then the grass turns green and the flowers slowly begin to bloom.

As a runner, I especially love the warmer temps.  It's liberating going from multiple layers (tights, skirt/shorts, Under Armour top(s), puffer vest, head band and gloves) to the bare minimum.  Sometimes it's a slow progression....running without the vest or gloves, then losing the tights, shedding the long-sleeved top. Other times, like today, it was kind of sudden.  I ran with a tank top under a short-sleeved tech top and a skirt and I was a sweaty mess when I returned home. And it's all good!

I get annoyed with the extreme temps in Iowa.  It's very hot and humid in the summer, and artic-like freezing cold in the winter.  The autumn and spring are certainly the most ideal temps for running.

  But I live here, 24/7.  And if I sat around and whined every time there wasn't "perfect" running weather, I'd be pretty miserable. 

Actually, I think having the change of seasons and extreme weather gives me an advantage It's made very adaptable.  I'm not super fast or competitive, but I enjoy racing.  And races happen in every kind of weather (except when there's lightening).  I once ran a 20K (12.4 miles), and the first 9 miles were in the rain.  Two months later, I ran another race, a 7-mile race that was entirely one hill after another, and that race also was in the rain. I ran two different "jingle bell" themed races this past December, and both of those also had rain (December rain is much colder than July rain, just saying). Sometimes the only option is putting one foot in front of the other until you cross the finish line.

So, it is spring, and I am ready for it!  And, I look forward to heat of summer in a few months, too.

How about you?  Do you run outside year-round?

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