I represent all the mothers out there who, like me, have discovered a precious gift in running. I have also discovered that coming in last in a race is not the absolute worst thing in the world! I run for the sheer love of it, for the health benefits of it, and for the positive impact it has on my girls. Welcome to my blog!
February 4, 2010: more than just a run
Today I almost missed a really great run.
Being my day off, I had planned to run sometime today before the girls got home from school. At 8:15 am it was still -11 below. Brrr....that's just cold. The sky was overcast, and it just felt damp and bone chillingly cold out. Cold temps are so much more tolerable if the sun is out at least, but there was no sun in sight this morning. As I stared at the -11 temp reading on my computer, my mind wandered away from the Munger Trail run I had planned....and my thoughts meandered in a direction they rarely go...for a second, I considered running on the fitness center treadmill. Don't get me wrong, I feel there is a time and a place for treadmill use. I have used them countless times, and don't always loathe the experience. However, personally if I have a choice in the matter, I will always choose to run out in nature on my familiar trails. Running is just so much more to me than "just a run." So much of the running experience is lost on a treadmill indoors. It's like butter vs. margarine. They may be similar, but in my book there's no comparison as to which I'd rather have.
I got dressed up for a run on the Munger, and off I went.
By the time I got to the location of my usual 5 mile loop run, it was already a balmy 7 degrees. Much better. And some sporadic sun too, so that helped a lot. I started out by walking the first mile as my warm up. I realized during that brisk walk, how many bird nests you can see clinging up in the trees during this time of year. I saw several that I hadn't noticed before. There were many signs of wildlife on the Munger today. As usual, I spotted several deer tracks throughout the duration of my run. Some of the deer tracks were so tiny, I had to go back and look again (I don't think anyone's been walking their pet pygmy goats on the Munger, but I guess there's a chance I could be wrong). The squirrels were all going crazy, running across the trails chasing each other, up trees and telephone poles. Made me smile. They seem to have spring fever like I do. I also noticed several animal trails leading up and down to and from the Moosehorn River. Fox? Dogs? I hadn't noticed those trails before. I was even dive bombed by a red headed woodpecker.
The trail was packed well today, and although the roads around the lake and some of the Munger were icy, I was able to run at a pretty steady pace with my YakTrax on. I was only passed by one snowmobiler today, which was nice. They have been courteous for the most part this winter, slowing down considerably when passing. A few have not, and I've gotten a good dusting. Today I made a mistake and wore all white underneath my blue fleece jacket. If I had gotten too warm and had taken it off, I would've been run over for sure. Usually I try to keep that in mind better.
I loved today's run for many reasons. I loved that I was alone on the trails. I loved that the spout on my hand-held water bottle got icy in between drinks and that my hankie froze stiff. I loved that the tip of my pony tail was a big ball of ice crystals at the end of my run, from my breathing. I loved that I dressed perfectly for the weather and didn't need to adjust my clothing to stay comfortable. I always enjoy seeing my trails in the different seasons, and I loved the way the trees looked today. It was so calm and still out--the trees just seemed to be waiting patiently for spring to come so they can burst into life again. I loved that at the end of my 5 miles I had time to go further, and was able to fit in a 10k today.
It was a good run day--the kind of run when you feel you can keep on going, almost effortlessly. It was the kind of run when you high-five trees as you run by (I'm sure I'm not the only one who does that once in awhile?). It felt good to be out there. Even the Moosehorn River seemed to be cheering me on as it's nearby water bubbled under a sheet of ice. Today I just enjoyed everything about being out there, yes, even in 7 degrees. I am so glad I didn't give in to the temptation of the treadmill today.
It was definitely more than just a run.
you captured why I (we) run outside in even the coldest weather perfectly. Will need to share this with my co-=workers who think I am nuts1