Sunday, April 5, 2015

Running happy

Today was the day that showed me spring has officially arrived. Not just because it's opening day at Wrigley Field! One week ago, we left sunny Florida, where it was in the 80s, and landed at O'Hare airport in 33 degrees and sleet. Hello Chicago! The weather improved over the course of the week, thankfully. Springtime in the midwest is really fickle. But today on my run, I saw a lot of the changes that come with spring. Better days are ahead. They have to be.

I put on my most Eastery shirt (Swirlgear) and I headed out the door to run my 10 miler. The sun was shining and the temperature was 50 degrees. As my first "official" spring long run, I decided to take it to the bike path, where I do so much of my training. During the winter, the park district plows part of the path, but most of it is left snow covered. I have to be creative and find alternative routes to get my miles in. Lots of those miles are on the road, and we all know that isn't optimal.

Today I knew my path would be clear. I was excited to run it. The round trip distance from my house to the end of the path and back is about 10.5 miles. The parts that are the prettiest are also the most wooded and isolated. I went early, figuring that I'd be alone on the path. Surprisingly, I saw a lot of other runners and some bikers too. There's safety in numbers, and so I was able to relax the entire route.

As I ran along the first of several retention ponds I pass along this path, I was struck by the way the sun was hitting the water. The water was calm, and there were several loons swimming, making a wake in the water. It was very peaceful, and very beautiful. But this pond does serve a purpose, as you can see by the big drain pipe in the forefront of the picture. Behind me is a creek, which meanders along the length of the path. The creek floods easily when there are big storms. This pipe runs under the path and helps keep the creek from overflowing its banks. Sometimes it works.

And altho you really can't see it in this picture, at the far end of this pond is a major highway. Ah. Suburbia.


While I'm really grateful to have this peaceful place to run, the majority of the path is under these high tension wires. I think it's a great idea to use this green space for a fitness path (hello, Arlington Heights? Can we do that too?). But I wonder if there are any ill effects from being in such close proximity to this high voltage. Maybe that's where I get all my energy from?

I can see for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles....oh yeah...
I stopped to say hi to the smiling tree! Actually, when I stopped for this picture, I had a message on my phone from my one of my #tribe wishing all of us a Happy Easter! I sent them this shot, and continued on my run, catching up with them after I finished. That message sure put a smile on my face and a spring in my step!

Doesn't this shirt look like it was dyed with Easter egg colors? I just love it. 

I saw a lot of fat robins pulling worms out of the ground. Squirrels and chipmunks playing. And I noticed that the grass is turning green...

Me and my shadow! I look so tall...

Even though the path is mostly flat, there are some really steep hills. One of them almost took my breath away as I chugged up to the top. The reward is that on the way back, I'm able to fly down. When I'm on my bike, it's almost scary! At the bottom of the hill is a bridge across the creek. I stopped to take a picture and was interrupted by a man walking with his toddler and dog. I asked him to take this picture. He seemed to think it was weird, even though I explained to him that I needed it for my running blog. Must not be a runner...


Another pond, just around the bend...3 weeks ago I was here was on my bike and the pond was completely frozen over.


I saw a lot of these guys! I expect to see ducklings in a few weeks.

Outta my way!

And finally, the true sign that spring is officially here--the portapotties are back! And bigger than ever...

And I didn't even have to use it!



Today's stats:
10.43 miles
1:30:14
8:39 mins/mile
Definitely started off slow, but love those negative splits on the back half!




Has spring sprung where you are? What signs of spring put a smile on your face? How do you celebrate your first official spring run of the season?

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I'm linking up with Tara at RunningNReading for her Weekend Update! Be sure to check out her blog and all the other blogs too!













68 comments :

  1. Yay for spring!! Hopefully you didn't end up getting any of that snow that WI was supposed to get today (heard from my family some was expected)!

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  2. nope it was cold today. Still waiting for spring!

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  3. Nice run! I love that shirt. We were warm here today but still very windy.

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    1. The wind picked up towards the end of my run; fortunately I didn't have to run into it very much.

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  4. Here, it's like summer. It was 89 when I left work Friday. 89! Ugh. I love your egg-dye shirt! I wore an Eastery dress on my run today. Seriously. What a pretty bridge too. I love stuff like that! You're still rockin' those low paces!

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    1. I'd love 89...not first thing in the morning, but yes, as the day goes on! It was about 70 today but it still feels cold to me. I did some yoga after my run out on the deck in the sun and that felt great!

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  5. Awesome run, Wendy! The grass is starting to green up in the southwest suburbs, too, and some trees are starting to get some buds. I'm so excited for things to start blooming and to get a little color to look at!

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    1. Finally, right? I just saw the weather forecast for the week, still lots of ups and downs, but at least we're heading forward!

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  6. Spring is finally returning here, but it's still been too cold in the mornings to run or anything..for me at least :) I'm loving all the green and also everything is starting to bloom.

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  7. Yay for Spring and a warm weather run!!! Cannot WAIT for it to warm up here (it was snowing yesterday again) so I can really enjoy running outside again :)

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  8. Yay for Spring! I think we skipped spring and went straight to summer. Ugh! Your running path looks great.

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  9. Spring has sprung whether it wants to or not. It was SO nice out running yesterday. I've always been wary of high tension wires.

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    1. Me too, but I don't have a choice running under them. Sometimes I see birds on the path that must have gotten zapped...

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  10. YAY for spring!!!! I am so glad you had such a nice run. These runs really help revive us don't they!? And I LOVE your shirt. That is so cute!!

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    1. It sure does help to have a good run, but my legs are really tired today! Time for yoga.

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  11. Ive been loving these spring temps lately! It feels so good to be back outside in the sunshine! I always get nervous to ask people to take my picture because Im sure they think its weird. But really, I shouldn't care ! And that picture came out great so it was worth it I think:)

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    1. Most people are pretty nice when I ask them, but this guy was just plain weird. You never know...

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  12. Ha funny if that's where you get all your speedy energy from, I am going to start running under some power wires too!

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  13. YAY! I'm so glad that you had such a great run, Wendy! My allergies tell me that Spring has definitely sprung over here - ha! We've had some fantastic days and some really rainy, yucky days (like today), but it's all part of the season. Thanks so much for linking up with the blog; hope your day is off to a great start!

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  14. I love your shirt! Very pretty. And cute pic of you with the smiling tree. So happy for you that you had such a lovely Spring run. Warmer days must be just around the corner!

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  15. You are so right your shirt does look very Eastery! I'm gonna agree with Tara, you know Spring is here when you start sniffling from all the pollen. I'm glad it is finally warming up in your neck of the woods! The Mighty Mississippi is gonna be overflowing her banks when everything thaws good.

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    1. You've had spring like weather for a while--I can't help but admit I'm a little jealous!

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  16. For me it is the ability to leave the windows open all day. It just feels so much better breathing fresh air!!

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  17. Love the running top!
    Looks like an hour and half well spent! Your splits look great. Covering a little more than 10 miles in that amount of time is awesome!

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    1. Thank you! It was a great run! I'm hoping I can bring it to my race in a couple of weeks.

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  18. Love all the pictures of your run! Spring is definitely right around the corner. This weekend was absolutely beautiful, and I hope it stays warm till fall :) Have a great week!!

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  19. It HAS been another LONG bleak Midwest winter hasn't it? So glad to see the snow gone and the temps climbing! Yesterday was my first "official" spring run, finally nice enough to run in shorts and t-shirt... I took Kona, my favorite four legged running buddy for a little over 5 miles and wore him out. He hasn't seen much running lately because most of this winter was spent indoors. I know, I know....

    Looking forward to lots of upcoming miles!

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    1. The best reminder of where it is we live was today. It was 65 degrees when I walked into work at 1230p and 43 degrees when I walked out at 530p. Ugh.

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  20. what a nice spring run! tons of signs for you- I don't get the porta potty thing? are they not there in the winter? I have to pee more when I am cold? nice shirt! I bought that one for my daughter and yes it kind of reminds me of an easter egg- i thought of that when it came in :) Happy Spring!

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    1. Oh, you Florida peeps...no, the portapotties go away in the winter. The water to the drinking fountains gets turned off. Tough love for us midwesterners.

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  21. I'm glad you're finally getting spring weather. It looks so pretty there! We're approaching summer weather here, though there is a bit of a cool down today. "Only" 78 on April 6!

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  22. What a great run! I wish I could hold that pace for that many miles. I love how nice the weather is. It definitely makes you want to move right?!

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    1. Spring is my reward for enduring that cold and snowy winter!

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  23. So fun! Looking forward to logging higher miles like this later in the year. Right now, I'm glad to hit 4 to 5 weekly. Went to a park recently for a run and loved seeing everyone out with their dogs and kids being active.

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    1. I bet! I always miss running when my miles are low.

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  24. Sounds like a great run with so many great signs of Spring! I love that it looks like Spring has finally arrived here in Virginia!

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    1. I think you get spring a little earlier than us...and this year, it's been a long time coming.

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  25. Hooray for spring! We still have snow in spots but it's going away quickly. Spring feels like it's here - there's mud everywhere!

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    1. Not so much mud here...it's been pretty dry, surprisingly.

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  26. aw, I LOVE this post!!! and I'm SO happy spring has finally, finally arrived. I think it may be here to stay!

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    1. I was happy...until I walked out of work and it was 43 degrees...ah Spring in Chicago. It's so fickle!

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  27. Congrats on your long run. Its about time spring is finally here. Although this wk at work it doesn't feel like it. Snow in Canada still..Yuck! -L

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  28. Sounds like an awesome day! I think most men look at you crazy if you ask to get your picture taken. They never want pictures!! Great selfie with the tree!

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    1. I love that tree..he's featured in my FB posts quite often! Puts a smile on my face every time I go by.

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  29. What a wonderful spring run! I'm hoping spring is here to stay.

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  30. It is days like these in Chicago that make it hard to contemplate leaving! I just wish we had more of them!

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  31. Running makes me happy too... and when the sun is shining and temperature is JUST RIGHt... BLISS> ;)

    And... you are fast! by the way. Great job!

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  32. I was warm on Saturday here, then it started snowing in the evening. Now it's raining buckets. I think it's safe to say that Canada's weather has no idea what's up...

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    1. It's no different here...now it's 43 and drizzling..ugh. Tomorrow it's supposed to be 70 and t-storms...

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  33. Truly inspiring. Great read as it really makes us appreciate the beauty around us.... even in suburbia! :)

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    1. Thank you! There is beauty everywhere...you just have to look!

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