I love running in the Spring. It's partially due to the increase in nice weather (yay sunshine!), but seriously, we all know spring is pretty bi-polar with its weather. Especially this year. I have run more in the snow during the months of March and April than I ever did in January and February.
There is also the fact that I loathe winter running and usually don't bother. The arrival of Spring also marks the arrival of my running routine.
But there is a secret third reason that makes Spring my absolute favourite for outdoor activity.
I love them. I have seen some in the summer and a few in the fall but they are out in droves in the Spring.
You can always spot them. They:
a) are wearing FAR too many clothes. Yes, it's a wee bit chilly, but no, you don't need your hat, mitts, scarf and winter coat. Dress one layer down for the sweat factor.
b) are wearing too few clothes. Technically, you will be working hard and true, you will get warm, but if there is still snow on the side of the road? Tiny shorts and your sports bra are not your best choices.
c) have GEAR. So much gear. That neon vest? Not needed for your midday run. Not even if it's cloudy. That fancy shmancy belt you're wearing? Is only necessary for runs over 10km. By your gait and all your flashy lululemon I would bet a million dollars you're not running anything longer than 5km.
d) have not found a rhythm. Legs and arms all over the place. It takes a while for your body to stop freaking right the hell out and get organized into something efficient looking. People who have been running a while have that. People who are just starting out are working out the kinks. They look like they're running to catch a bus, very very slowly.
From the list, it sounds like I judge the New Runner. Or that I mock them. No!! Not at all!! That's just a guide to spot them.
I adore the New Runner. I have this (mostly) irresistible urge to run over to them and encourage their endeavor. It's frickin' hard to start something new. Your whole body hurts. You think you will NEVER get home. Especially since you're still running away from your house. I am the New Runner's biggest fan.
I think it's because I remember being the New Runner and how it changed my life.
When I dip into my memories I find myself waking up in the dark, before the kids make their typical morning giggles and conversations. I war with myself.... do I really want to get out of bed? I could have 45 minutes more sleep.... I love sleep. I slide my right foot out of bed onto the floor and resign myself to my fate. The right is followed by the left and soon I am dressed, downstairs and tying my running shoes. The darkness that I can see from the window frightens me, just a little. It feels as though everyone in the world is abed.
The first few steps out the door are awkward. My legs are ready, powerful and strong but my body remains sluggish with sleep. The music eases me into a rhythm. I start to feel warm and happy. Lights from the windows of houses allow me a glimpse into the lives of my neighbours. It is oddly comforting to watch their mornings unfold, one house at a time.
The sun lightens the sky and I am home. My body is loose and limber. Tired and energized. My family is waiting. The smell of babies and coffee greet me upon my arrival. I am complete.
The memory is so fresh and vivid. If even one of these New Runners I pass gets the same happiness and completion I have found through this sport...... her life will have changed too.
And this, is why I love to run in the Spring.