When Drew picked me up at the bus stop after work last night and asked “Gym?” I said yes immediately. This has been a stressful week at work, and the thought of exercising my stress away appealed to me greatly.
We got home and started getting changed, and as I picked through my shirts to find something tiny and light enough to prevent overheating while treadmilling away in the sweltering sauna of a gym, it suddenly dawned on me – it was absolutely GORGEOUS outside, the perfect evening for a run, and here I was steeling myself for a gym workout. Why?!?
So I giddily swapped my tank top for a long-sleeve tee, put on my Garmin and my RoadID, and we hit the road to the gym. Drew went inside to do his thing, and I cut through the parking lot and crossed the street to the path I knew would bring me to the pond. I ran this path a bunch of times last summer (seen here in one of my scavenger hunt posts!) but as I turned into the woods yesterday it was like running into Narnia in the midst of its always-winter-never-Christmas era.
I can’t even express how bizarre it felt to be wearing shorts and feeling nice and warm while also running on snow and ice! It was so weird, in fact, that I couldn’t stop taking pictures (below), and I also got disoriented a few times because I wasn’t used to these trails being covered in snow and so went the wrong way a few times. (My legs weren’t used to running on snow- and ice-covered trails either… it took me forever to get out of the woods and my first mile clocked in at over 16:00!)
Once I finally completed my cross-country trek (without falling, I might add, despite slipping on ice several times!) and made it to the paved path around the pond, I took off at a giddy trot. I couldn’t stop grinning like a fool; I was SO happy to be running around the pond again! I think the last time I ran the pond was October. I missed it.
The pond was super busy, as everyone seemed to be taking advantage of the first warm evening to go on nice, leisurely walks. Everyone looked to be in a good mood, and all the runners I passed shared a knowing smile with me. Spring at last!
I must have had a lot of pent-up energy from not running a lot lately – not to mention all the work stress I was blowing off – because my giddy trot was quite the trot indeed. Simon was telling me that I was pacing between 9:20 and 10:00 for my first non-trail mile, and it felt really good considering that that’s super speedy for me*! What didn’t feel so good was my final mile, when all that speed caught up to me and my legs promptly turned to lead. I had to walk back to the gym, even though I had intended to run all the way back. I made it 3.5 miles though… not too shabby!
*Speaking of super speedy… in lieu of my final Couch to 5 Miler class last Wednesday, which I missed due to miscommunication, I took to the campus track for what was supposed to be an easy mile to gauge the status of my ribs and legs before Sunday’s race. I set off at a good clip for the first 400m – again, I’m guessing due to pent-up energy from having been sidelined for so long – and as I completed the lap I looked at Simon and saw that, if I could keep up that pace, I would totally blow my current mile PR of 9:26 away. So I went for it. And this happened:
Boo yeah! Maybe taking several weeks off is good for me?!
Anyway, the moral of this post is – I am so incredibly stoked that it’s finally spring, and that the snow is melting (kind of…) and that I can run outside again without needing allll the thermal kit. Yay!
How’s the weather where you are?
What’s been making you happy this week?
Who’s racing this weekend?