Thursday, April 10, 2014

Spring is here! Spring is here! Did I say spring is here?

I run outside all year long. This past winter was the worst I've ever run, in my 20+ years as a runner. Never have I been so cold and frustrated by the weather. Looking back, I truly can't believe how few times I actually had to take it to the treadmill. I used the cold weather as an excuse to do weekly intervals on the 'mill, otherwise my 3 other weekly runs were outside. I logged some pretty significant mileage too, as I was training for my spring break half marathon, the Florida Halfathon. Training in cold, snowy weather isn't really adequate when you are planning on running in a tropical climate. But I did get the miles in and that's that. You do the best you can, right?

But now, it seems like the weather is finally turning! We've had a string of seasonal temperatures this week--could it be the real thing? This morning I ran outside for 6.5 miles. It was 58 degrees when I started, and I was wearing shorts and a short sleeve t-shirt. Clearly I am not acclimated to even these temperatures and the first mile was tough as I struggled to find my breath! But as I eased into a nice sub-9 minute mile pace, I listened to my music, relaxed, enjoyed, and made some observations about spring in my neighborhood.

1. Early spring is UGLY here. The trees are bald, the grass is brown, there are patches of dried mud everywhere. But the daffodils and tulips are peeking through the dirt. The grass is, as my father in law likes to say, "greenin' up".

2. There's a lot of garbage on the ground. Everywhere I ran in my neighborhood, the parkways were clogged with crap. Coffee cups, pop cans, beer bottles, airplane vodka bottles, cigarette packs, condom wrappers, dog name it. Do people throw this stuff out of their cars? Well, except for the dog poop. Oh, but I did find 30 cents on the ground, so they can keep throwing money out the window!

3. Spring is WINDY! Warmer weather comes on the flow of gusty winds from the south. My mile splits reflected this. Any time a large portion of my run headed south or west, my mile times were a little slower. With the wind at my back, I flew like I had wings! I should have gone point to point today. Don't know how I'd get home though...

4. 58 degrees here is not the same as 58 degrees in Florida. When I ran on those cooler days in Florida, I still heated up quite a bit. Not so much here. It has to do something with the position of the sun in the sky, I'm sure.

5. The geese are back and they are leaving poop everywhere! My neighborhood route takes me by a small apartment complex where there is a pond, and the geese congregate there. Running on that sidewalk is an exercise in agility as I try not to step in any goose droppings. Ick. And if I get too close to the geese, they hiss at me. Sssssssss....

6. On the other hand, the mallard couples are sweet. They walk around in pairs and don't seem to be as annoying as the geese.

7. Today was garbage day. AKA squirrel feeding day in my 'hood. There are a ton of very obese squirrels in my neighborhood. They make a huge mess, digging through the garbage bags. And they are aggressive. My dog barked at a squirrel one day and that squirrel gave poor Cleo a piece of his mind. She came back to the house, tail between her legs.

8. Mrs Kravitz alert: Newspapers are piling up in front of the widow's front door across the street from me. She's always been really unfriendly to all of her neighbors and none of us know where she is. I hope she's ok.

9. The landscape trucks are back. The workers were doing a spring clean up in someone's yard. They were mowing and the fresh cut grass smelled good!

10. Moms and little kids were at the parks, swinging on swings and playing on the climbers.

Like the slow arrival of spring, I'm hoping that I too will acclimate and be ready for my summer races and running. It sure felt good to be out there today!

Has spring sprung where you are? What are seeing now that the snow is gone? How long does it take you to acclimate to the warmer temperatures?


  1. It was gorgeous today, but yes, the grass took a beating under all that snow. It's amazing how the tulips pop up like clockwork.

  2. You better go check on Mrs Kravits....

  3. I live in France and we had a very mild winter. I feel lucky because I know how tough the weather was in the US this year. Spring has been here for a while and its so wonderful. Glad it has come your way !

  4. Not sure where you live, I remember the early springs in the Midwest could be discouraging with the mud and bare trees... I hope the spring flowers are there soon to perk things up. Just found your blog today, we are about the same age and both still doing our best to stay active.

    1. Yep, the Midwest can throw some cruel weather our way! This past weekend was nice, but now the weatherman is calling for snow tonight...