Happiness is a Warm Run

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?!?

The conditions outside yesterday when I got home from work. SO NICE!

The conditions outside yesterday when I got home from work. SO NICE!

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!)

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Most of the trails were like this... you could either splash through the mud or pick your way along the ice.

Most of the trails were like this… you could either splash through the mud or pick your way along the ice.

...or, some were just completely snow-covered.

…or, some were just completely snow-covered.

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I was so proud of my "cross-country legs" even though they were barely muddy!

I was so proud of my “cross-country legs” even though they were barely muddy!

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Look how stoked I am to be running outside without layers upon layers of thermal gear!!

Look how stoked I am to be running outside without layers upon layers of thermal gear!! (Also, wow, I look tired.)

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.

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“You know you cast a long shadow on the ground…”

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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:

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Say whaaaa?!

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?

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17 thoughts on “Happiness is a Warm Run

  1. I AM COMPLETELY GEEKING OUT OVER THE TITLE OF THIS POST. Please tell me you meant it to be a spin on the Beatles song!!?! XD
    Also, you are superwoman! I mean that both in taking your run onto that treacherous looking path (woulda stopped me cold!) AND for that amazing mile time! You might hear me cheering for you all the way from Chicago…
    Which, is where I’m racing this weekend. The Chicago Quarter Marathon (6.5 miles) is tomorrow on the Lake Front Path and I am… super nervous but also super excited. The weather’s been good here lately, in the 70’s on Wednesday, 60’s yesterday, but it’s dropping to the low 50’s today I’ve heard rumors of SNOW tonight, so… must be spring lol

    • Of course! 😉 And it has been stuck in my head ever since I typed it in the title box!
      Thanks for the long-distance cheers! 🙂 I think if I had known the entire path would have been that bad I would have turned around and stuck to the roads, but I kept stupidly assuming it would get better. Ah well, it was an adventure!
      Good luck tomorrow!! And yes, we have rumors of snow coming Monday and Tuesday so it’s definitely spring! 😉

    • The random sections of snow that are still left are deceiving! I figured that since most of the snow in my backyard had melted that it would be gone from most other places, but nope. I guess these paths are in shaded places that wouldn’t melt as fast. One of these days we’ll be snow-free!! 🙂

  2. Yay spring! Yay outdoor running! Yay fast miles! I simply cannot wait until my self-imposed running hiatus is over and I can run run run! I was super tempted to run today because it’s SO NICE, but I know next week is gonna be ridiculous, so I just walked around a bit on lunch. It was heavenly.

    • All the yays! I bet that your first run after your hiatus is going to be even more amazing because you’ve waited for so long 🙂 And yay for lunchtime walks! I took one today too… so nice.

  3. Way to go on your outdoor running! Amazing mile time! I’ve been psyched about it finally getting warmer as well. Running outdoors is so much more fun than running indoors on a treadmill. Though I have realized that my legs are tired from the transition so I’ve still been doing some running on the treadmill to recover from my overzealous speed outside 😀

    • Thanks, and thanks! 😀 Yeah, transitioning back to roads and hills and potholes etc. from the consistency of the treadmill is definitely a challenge!

    • Thanks! 😀 As much as I’ve been yearning for warmth during our cold and snowy winter, I’d take 58 over hot for every run! I don’t do well in the heat.

    • Thanks! 😀 I hadn’t run on snow… ever, really. Run surrounded by snow or while it’s snowing sure, but not on top of snow and ice. It was a challenge! I hope you get out for a good long run and have a good weekend too!

    • Thanks! 😀 It felt completely strange to be surrounded by snow but wearing shorts… my brain had a hard time computing that one!

  4. Pingback: Friday Five of Randomness | Slow and Steady(ish)

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