Did I Miss Winter?

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?

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