Sunday, March 1, 2015

March 1st

While preparing to leave Ottawa and return home, we all got into a discussion about weather. We are Canadians, what else do we talk about? The topic was, what are we going to expect as far as the weather is concerned. My brother-in-law made an interesting comment, he said that while Spring doesn't officially begin until the 20th or 21st of March, to many people, today, the First is the beginning of Spring.

If you think about it, the comment makes sense. I believe it makes good sense as far as the three groups in the running community are concerned. Here's what I think:

To seasonal runners, those individuals who run in the Spring, Summer and Fall, this is the time to get out the running gear, see if you need anything in the way of replacement and get ready to start running. This group usually spends the winter months in Cross-Training or involved in Cross-Fit. They have been spending the winter month doing other forms of exercise, that doesn't take them outside, or perhaps they concentrate on winter activity, such as skiing and cross-country skiing. When one season ends, they simply jump over to the fitness forms of the new season without skipping a beat.

Runners who went inside. This is the group that looks at the conditions and decides the cardio can take place inside. These are the brave individuals that put all sorts of time and miles on the treadmill. They rarely missed anything on their running schedule, because they've simply used the equipment that's available to them. While one may wonder why they would bother going outside, they probably have been itching to do just that, they would rather run outside, but conditions- weather or personal preference has meant they've been doing a lot of work on the machines. They truly are looking forward to the change of scenery and getting back outside.

Winter runners. Rejoice you brave and mad souls, the winter of your discontent will soon fade into a bad dream. You've been outside in all sorts of conditions and running. You've endured the early darkness, the dropping temperatures and generally horrible conditions and can now think that it will soon be over. As one of those crazy people, I think I can express a few words: we've made it. We have run through two of the worst months of the year. We have faced cold temperatures, strong winds and wind chill that can't be explained. We've put on multiple layers of clothing, endured road and sidewalk conditions that go from fun to furious and downright dangerous. Now we can start to think about losing a few layers of clothing. As for temperatures, don't care which side of the +/- it is, as long as it's in single digits ( all temperatures in Celsius). Also, looking forward to a wind chill that doesn't add the numbers "2" or "3" to the front of each temperature. Imagine only one pair of gloves on the hand, or perhaps, dare we think, wearing shorts? Look we know this won't happen overnight, we'll still face challenges of snow and ice, and then the melting time will happen, but there is the belief that the worst is over and the best is yet to come. We can now look forward to finding the see the first tulip or crocus showing it's flower above the snow and debris.

It's the start of the Second Season of Running, it's also the time to start going over the race calendar and checking on possible involvement. A lot of races take place in the Spring and it's time to get looking for some in your area.

Even though it has been the coldest February in recorded history, I've had a good month of running. Last month I got out and ran 8 times, double 2014 for 42.73 miles, which again is better then the 26.61 miles. I also managed to run in three different locations, Niagara Falls Ontario, Veradero Cuba region and Ottawa Ontario. That made for some interesting running, and I still have to say, running in Cuba was wonderful, even though it made the first few runs back in Canada even more horrible. To be fair, I think it was actually more horrible.

On the return from Ottawa, we drove past the town of Brighton. This place will always have a warm place in my heart since this is where my inspiration to start running commenced. When in a sporting good store, I saw a notice for the Brighton Applefest Fun Run. It was for a 5K race and I thought this might be fun to do. I started doing some runs and 'training', if you wish. When I signed up, I got a free tee shirt and a coupon for a free bag of apples. The run is part road, part farmer's field, with a nasty little climb at about 3Km in. When I first did it, I made as many rookie mistakes as a person could make, finished with a time of 33'31" and figured I could do better the next. In all, I ran in three different fun runs, even got a metal for finishing second in my age catagory. I was hooked. I'm glad to see it's still happening and still following the same route. perhaps one day, I can do it again.

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