Monday, February 19, 2018

The Change of Seasons


If I were to cherry pick one thing I like least about running, it would have to be the change of seasons.

Actually, allow me to elaborate...it's not so much the change of seasons, but the change in the weather during each season that tests my patience. 
For example:
We're currently entertaining winter. Now, although I'm not a fan of the extreme cold, I'm Iowa tough. I can handle the moderate cold with ease. The sunlight glistening on the snow is simply breathtaking. Also, an early morning run under a moonlit sky is an incredibly tranquil experience. I'm a big fan of layering up and heading outside.

But when Momma N drops a sudden 20-degree plummet in temps? Or she taunts you with a couple of days sporting above-freezing temps...only to spank you with an abrupt  layer of snow overnight, causing the melted streets to freeze into an icy mess? Well, that's just plain cruel.
Negative 20F, anyone? How about those festive ice crystals that oddly resemble diamond earrings?
How about spring? After a long and frigid winter, there's nothing so beautiful as spring weather. The sun shines brighter, the days are longer, and the dormant trees erupt in blooms. Gone are the runs clad in multiple layers and the gloves can be left at home. Pure and total bliss!

There is a downside, though, to bidding farewell to Old Man Winter. All of those warmer temps give way to melting snow, and that leads to mud, slush, and dirty running shoes. Let's not forget, I'm in Iowa...it's not uncommon for the temps to zig-zag from warm to cold without much warning. Alas, the tricky game of layering one's clothing is never an easy victory. 
Spring usually calls for a combo of warm (capri's) and cool (tank) attire
It's no secret that summer is my favorite season. That revelation became most apparent last year when I was sidelined for most of it recovering from emergency surgery. Summer is simply beautiful! The days are long and the air is fragrant with flowers and fresh-cut grass.

The one and only clause to summer running fun is the dreaded humidity. Myself, I can tolerate it. I don't love it, but I have learned to respect it. Summer is the perfect time to run for the simple enjoyment of it and not be consumed with fast finish times or record-breaking paces because the humidity can (and will) keep you humble.
Is there anything more beautiful than a summer sunrise?
Finally, there's autumn. No doubt, autumn is a beautiful season with all the changing color. The cooler temps are a welcome reprieve from the heat of summer. Having trained through the hot conditions of summer, the crisp air of autumn often times will make race day all that more enjoyable.

Autumn is not a free ride into the racing season, though. It's usually a challenge adjusting to the temperamental temps. We've all had those days when the cooler temps give way to unseasonable heat...and then what do we do? An extra layer feels essential for the first mile, but can quickly become a burden in later miles. And have you ever felt that freezing cold autumn rain?  
This is my autumn tread mill
As an Iowa runner, I get to experience all of these conditions in my running shoes...the good, the hot, and the freezing cold. I do believe it's given me a huge advantage in that I'm prepared for almost any weather condition. And, although I'm not always excited about what Momma N serves up, I know I'd miss the change of seasons if I lived elsewhere. I just don't appreciate her thrusting abrupt changes (hot or cold) at us without any notice.

Anyways, those are some thoughts on likes/dislikes with regards to running...and, ironically, the one thing we have ZERO control over is the weather. 

What's your favorite season? Your least favorite? Do you live in an area where you get to experience the change of seasons?


**I'm  linking up with Marcia and Patty and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run.  Today we're chatting about things we don't like (much) about running. Join the conversation!


**I'm also linking this with Debbie and Rachel and Lora for the Running Coaches' Corner.

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39 comments:

  1. Haha, I totally understand what you are saying! Just when I figure out how to dress for the weather, it changes. I like running in Hong Kong winter ;) which is closest to our fall/spring: comfortably cool.

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  2. While its good to have some variety in the weather, lately the changes have just been so drastic! We've had everything from negative temps to 70 degrees to rain, snow, sleet, and wind over the past 6 weeks. I just hope that when spring comes we can settle into some decent temperatures!

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    1. Spring is always crazy in Iowa...it bounces from summer-like heat and then reverts back to winter-like chilly.

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  3. Our change of seasons is not as pronounced as yours. It's now summer (unbearably hot and very little rain; dry, very little humidity); and then autumn which is a couple of weeks and then winter (very cold at nights but high temps during the day); and then spring which is like 2 days long. :-)

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    1. Your weather is a bit more on the warm side... ;-)

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  4. Ha! Yes, we experience change of seasons here. It has been as season of wildly fluctuating temps. Honestly the weather doesn't bother me. I like to think dealing with it helps with mental toughness.

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    1. Total agreement on the mental toughness! Nothing phases me....even that dry Las Vegas heat was tolerable ;-)

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  5. Sometimes we experience all the seasons in one week LOL. This year though, it appears that spring is coming early. Unless March decides to spank us. Thankfully we have no snow to melt and make things muddy.

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    1. Pretty much all of our snow melted in the past few days...now we have the spring mud, but the late-winter freeze happening

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  6. Summer is my favorite too! I just adore it... although running in fall feels a little magical sometimes. The slightly cooler weather gives ya wings! :-)
    Hope you have a nice day!

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    1. Yes to the wings in the fall! But, I definitely agree...summer is magical ;-)

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  7. Summer is my favorite season. You always know it's going to be hot, opposed to other seasons when it could change from day to day. I would take running in the heat and humidity any day opposed to cold and wind.

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    1. Exactly...it's always warm, and when it's actually cool, it's a pleasant surprise.

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  8. There's not much we can do about our Midwestern winter unless we move. I think it makes it interesting. We might not always like it, but like you said there isn't much you can do about it.

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    1. Total agreement...the only thing we ultimately can control is our attitude (and our ability to smile--or laugh-- at the weird weather as we cope with it LOL)

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  9. Weather is always the wild card. I always take the summer as an off season because the Texas summers are brutal. That habit still sticks here in CO.

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    1. The weather definitely is always a factor to deal with...running or not.

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  10. Yes this weather is so crazy. it is freezing and then it warms up. Everything melts and then it snows again. We are supposed to have 70 degrees tomorrow. WTH?

    Of course we know that winter will return.

    What to wear? What to wear?

    I love just needing a skirt & tank.

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    1. Oh gosh....I'm with ya. I love just needing a skirt/shorts and a tank, too!

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  11. Haha! Sometimes, in Virginia, you can experience more than one season in a week! LOL Saturday, I ran in all the layers, today I ran in short sleeves, and I'll probably be in a tank top by Thursday. So crazy!! But, I wouldn't trade it for anything. We lived in Hawaii for 6 years - it was nice and I definitely like warm weather but ... it was boring. ha!

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    1. Last Saturday, we kind of experienced both winter and spring all within a few hours. It's nutzo....that makes it a challenge to be layered up all proper ;-)

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  12. I've lived in 3 different cities in NY, in VT, MD, and TX. I didn't miss the seasons when I lived in TX. At all. Although there are seasons; it's just different.

    But I can tell all the states have one thing in common -- don't like the weather; wait 5 minutes. First time near a tornado? VT. That time it was so cold I was really afraid my car wouldn't start? MD. Ice storms? TX.

    I am not a fan of heat & humidity, however. While it does get humid here, sometimes, it's nothing compared to TX humidity.

    Someday, maybe, I'll find the perfect state. :)

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    1. The humidity really is a tough cookie to crack....the best we can do is simply deal with it ;-)

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  13. My favorite running season is fall. I know what you mean about the change in weather in each season. We had a lot of snow last week and today it's been raining almost all day. Tomorrow it will be in the mid 30s. Spring needs to be here soon!

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    1. We had rain this morning (and it actually stormed last night!)....now everything is freezing. I guess my #5at5 will have to be indoors tomorrow ;-(

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  14. I discovered last summer that the heat and humidity are not my friend for running anymore. I am loving running in the winter this year but I would say my favorite temps to run in are 40-50's

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    1. I love temps in the 40-50's this time of year...but summer is still my jam ;-) I must have an unusually high heat tolerance.

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  15. I have to say my favorite "season" is probably winter here in Florida. It's when we get the most mild temperatures. This February has been unseasonably hot and it's really making me not feel the whole running thing!

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    1. As much as I love the summer, I know Iowa summers are probably not the extreme that Florida's are. It does get hot here (in the upper 90's and humid), but that's pretty much just during late June-August.

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  16. Summer and fall are my favorite for running here in New England. I love the warm temps so summer is obviously great for that, but the changing leaves in the fall have a special place in my heart too!

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    1. I agree...warm temps for the win! We do have a beautiful fall in Iowa, though...the leaves are quite breath-taking!

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  17. Honestly all I can think about right now is summer. It's been cold here since October. It's snowed much more than I care for. I've been injured since December. We've been sick here for going on a week and a half now. I'm just over it. I want summer and ice cream and heat and sleeping with the windows open and running in the sunshine and splashing in the creek. I MISS SUMMER!!!

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    1. I have been saying (since like last September LOL) that "I want my summer back!" I stand firm on that request!

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  18. Winter is my favorite, and we are finally getting some...though I know most other places are sick of it by now. I hate spring. I think autumn has to be the most popular season - does anyone actually hate autumn?

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  19. There is something different about every season here in Maine that makes me love running! As much, as I do not like running in the cold, I LOVE the beauty of pounding the pavement when there is a light snow falling!!

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  20. I'm with you, summer is my absolute favorite season. The couple of 60, 70, and 80 degree days that we've recently had have been a very welcome break from winter weather.

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  21. I love something about every season and I'm always glad when the weather shifts, but it does seem that winter hangs on just a bit too long...

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  22. I love me some warm weather! I despise winter and left living in Chicago for that reason! Living in Texas has been great overall, but I do run into running in the extreme heat. I do what I can to avoid that.
    This week we had a day where it dropped 20 degrees in an hour! It was a bit of a shock after a teaser that spring had sprung!

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