I am beginning to feel as if I slept through winter. The past two mornings when I awoke, the sun was shining brightly through our windows and the birds were singing spring tunes. Don’t get me wrong – I haven’t missed crawling out of my warm bed on bitter cold mornings, or risking my life sliding down ‘the hill’ trying to get to school. I have enjoyed actually getting our scheduled days off rather than a random snow day here and there. I am concerned, however, that summer might be unbearably hot, but I am willing to take that chance.
In the running world, the weather has been ideal. I don’t mind running in the cold; it can actually be rather invigorating. It always amazes me how quickly we warm up once we hit the pavement. I have had some of my best runs on the coldest days, and my friends and I have had some of our most enjoyable – and memorable – runs in the most treacherous weather. Just give us blizzard-like conditions, and we can laugh our way through a seven-miler. Give us a sudden downpour sprinkled with some booming thunder and lightning, and we can book it, all the way feeling like true athletes (rather than the idiots passersby believe we are). Just a few short years ago, no one could have paid me to go outside in the rain or the bitter cold. Now I go willingly, and I like it!
This winter (can we really even call it winter?), we have had some gorgeous days; I have even run in shorts a couple times. Today was one of those perfect running days. Because of some stomach issues (no worries – I won’t go into those details) this weekend, I didn’t get a long run in. My goal was to run eight miles yesterday, but I really didn’t think I should venture quite that far from my car. I had intended to go to church, and head out for a run as soon as we got home. It just wasn’t meant to be. I didn’t even risk going to church. I plopped my butt on the couch, and stayed there all morning. After attending a bridal shower in the afternoon (eating a large slab of cake – guess the stomach didn’t feel too bad!), I decided to try a run. Once I was out, I decided it would be best to run a few miles, and save the long run for another day.
That day was today. I knew the weather was going to be gorgeous today, so I really hoped my stomach would cooperate. I didn’t feel great, but I was heading out. I met my friend Jen, and we took off. In February in Southern Indiana, one never knows what to expect, but I don’t usually expect to be able to wear running capris and a long sleeve shirt. No gloves, no hat, no layers. It was awesome. Jen didn’t have time to run eight miles, so once I decided I wanted to keep going, I turned off to add some miles. It wasn’t fast. It didn’t feel good. At all. But I plugged along determined to get some mileage in.
Once in awhile when I am out, some unexpected things keep me going and make my effort worth it. Two such incidents happened today. I was running south on a street in town, and the junior high track team was coming toward me. The first runner was a boy whom I had when he was a third grader. He stuck his hand out for a high five as we passed, which made my day. I am certain he had no idea how much that meant to his old teacher (old meaning former, or old meaning, well, just old – you decide!). About a mile later, I was running down another street in my eighth mile, and I was getting tired. I ran past some children who were playing outside, and a little boy yelled, “Hi, Third Grade Teacher!”. Again, it melted my heart. Running in a small town, especially one in which I teach, can be great because the kids I pass many times holler at me, which really gives me little pushes along the way.
I am determined to stay motivated. Gary and I are running the Derby Festival Mini Marathon at the end of April, so I have to improve my running. I also need to lose a couple more pounds and work on core strength. I am continuing to work Zumba classes into my fitness routine because not only is Zumba a great calorie burner, it is just plain fun. Morgan’s boyfriend who is in the Army will be here this weekend, and he is going to show me a workout with the kettlebell. It’s going to hurt. However, I am getting some serious arm flab, so kettlebell it is. If I don’t blog for awhile, you will know that my arms no longer work.
Enough rambling. I’m tired from running. It is time to zone-out before heading off to bed. What did you do for your health today?