How to know you need to run off a few extra Thanksgiving inches: it’s post-Thanksgiving feast time in your sister’s living room, and you are getting in some snuggles on the couch with your daughter and your niece. Your niece pats your tummy, looks at you sweetly, and asks “Auntie, do you have a baby in your tummy?” Your daughter fills in your amused/horrified silence by answering “no, and she never will again”.
So when Amy asked if I wanted to run the day after Thanksgiving, I agreed, despite having to get creative in finding someone to watch the kiddo and the fact that outside offered a bone-chilling heavy mist.
We chose the out-and-back route of the Orting Trail, I think because we are both growing weary of the loop from my house and the loop from Amy’s. I’m not a huge fan of out-and-back, but mixing up the scenery is one of the biggest challenges in running. The ‘out’ portion wasn’t bad…4.75 miles of drizzle, but I could still see out of my glasses and my ear warmer came off before we reached the turnaround point. The ‘and-back’ portion, though? I swear, I think God was watching us and merely waiting for us to turn around, so he could dial up the weather a few notches. By mile 7.5, I was carrying my glasses (no point in wearing them when the heavy rain coats them every few seconds) and the soaked front of my running pants made me feel like I was running with weights strapped to my legs. We both stripped from the waist up as soon as we got back to the parking lot (no worries about flashing anyone, as we were the only idiots out in this weather) and put on dry shirts (our one smart move of the day), then headed immediately for Starbucks. Amy asked, as we pulled in to the parking lot, “go in? Drive thru?” Ha. Drive thru. Let’s not frighten the other patrons who were smart enough to stay indoors today.
Hot chocolate in hand, I headed out to pick up Zoey from a playdate at her friend’s house. Thankfully, she didn’t give me much grief about leaving as I stood, teeth chattering, waiting for her to get in the car. And the hot shower that was just waiting for me to walk in the door?? Totally made the 9.5 miles worth it.
But I think I have a few more workouts to tackle this weekend, in a continued effort to ditch the flabby tummy. Time to go find another babysitter!
Today I rekindled an old love affair.
That’s right. After months of dreading my inevitable return to the indoor track at the Y, I found myself forced on to it’s surface due to my day off from work + Zoey at school + torrential Western Washington rain falling outside. I’ve been eyeing the track for a few weeks now, usually on my every-Tuesday-evening work out. Part of my brain remembers enjoying the endless laps I did on the track last winter, when rain and perpetual darkness forced me indoors. However, the other part of my brain wasn’t QUITE ready to surrender to the turning over of another season.
But today I realized my wonky tan lines (too many varying styles of running tanks and shirts) from this summer and early fall have officially faded. There are no more 2012 races to train for. I’ve lost the lean look I always sport in August and September, the result of running nearly every day outside for months on end. I could no longer satisfy my craving to pound pavement with spinning mindlessly on the elliptical machine. I needed to RUN.
And suddenly, just like that, I was ready for another season on the track.
I had forgotten, until today, how pleasant it can be to loop around and around, keeping a mental tally of the laps, knowing that every six counts for a mile. I eased seamlessly in to my indoor routine of run a mile, do a rotation in the weight room, run, weights, run, weights…I caught up on podcasts long stored on my iPhone and fell back in love with the sound of Ira Glass’ voice and the practical yet hilarious advice from the gals over at Another Mother Runner. I dodged the wet spots on the track floor (always a section of leaky roof to be mindful of) and the elderly people pushing walkers or power walking while fist-pumping two pound weights.
Hello, my lovely indoor track. I didn’t think I missed you, but it turns out I did. It’s good to be back. But as soon as the sun returns, have no doubt that I will drop you like a hot rock.
I feel like I should write something pertaining to running today, but to be quite honest, my running life hasn’t been so exciting lately.
With autumn here, my running life is less about training for races and more about sneaking in smaller, shorter routes whenever I can (read: whenever it’s light out and not raining too hard). And, while I miss having the goal of a race lurking in the back of my mind, it’s also nice to focus on running for the sheer love of it. I’ve had some gorgeous late-Wednesday-morning runs when the sky is beautiful blue, the air is downright chilly, and there are nearly five straight miles of kicking through crunchy colored leaves. Amy and I are back to our routine of rainy Thursday afternoon hill runs after work. This morning, we’ll head out for 8 miles in the freezing cold…time to dig out that ear warmer and find a pair of gloves.
Each season brings different weather and different running habits. I know, now that it’s getting chilly, my weekly mileage will drop and I will probably start spending more time at the gym than I do outside. And, while I am rather dreading the track at the Y, I know that in a matter of months, I’ll be back to my normal running routes outside.