Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Few Degrees of Separation

Drip. Drip. Drip.

I woke up to the sound of water pattering what sounded like right by my head. I groggily opened my eyes, searching for where the water was falling. I first looked up at the ceiling, then all of the corners in my room. As I looked out my patio door, I saw that it was the snow melting from the deck above mine -- and all the water was dripping into a tin pie plate I have filled with bird suet. What a promising sign! No indoor leaks, and warm weather outside pretty early on in the day. Think birds mind waterlogged food?

I lollygagged around my apartment for a while. While drifting to sleep last night, I told myself I wanted to run 8 miles today, but for some reason that mileage seemed daunting this morning. I took out the trash, cleaned a few things, made a couple of phone calls, and finally convinced myself that I didn't need to run 8 miles -- I just needed to run and enjoy the sunny, warm weather. My marathon training starts in a couple weeks, and until then I should just run what I want to run and avoid getting injured, because after training starts, only then will my mileage matter.

Right around noon, I set off on what I thought would be a 5-mile run. Right around 1:30, I finished my longest run since my Halloween half marathon last October.

Not only was the weather so pleasant today, so were the people! The first two runners I saw said hello, and that was within a quarter mile of my apartment. Yes, we are "Minnesota nice" here, but usually us runners keep to ourselves ... unless we're out braving the elements at 4:30a.m., and we are one of two people outside. Not today. Everyone was smiling, happy, laughing, and enjoying the mild weather. Even all the dogs looked happy! Those few degrees difference truly broke all of our separation. I couldn't help but grin during my entire run as I smiled and waved to so many people.

My 5-mile run turned into a 7-mile run. I stopped by my gym to get a cup of water since I was dying of thirst, and headed back out for a lap around a nearby nature preserve. After 8.5 miles, I still wanted to keep running. So my 8.5 miles turned into a few more laps around local blocks, finishing at 10.3 miles. And, I seriously felt like I could have kept going if I had brought some Sports Beans or a water bottle with me.

This is what I saw when lapping the nature preserve. Beautiful wispy clouds, melting snow, plenty of sun ... this weather is so enjoyable for running.

Not only is it finally above freezing, for the first time since Nov. 6, the sunset is officially after 5p.m. The cold air has seemingly disappeared, and tomorrow is the last day that our "statistical low temps" stay so low. As my weatherman joked today, "Our three weeks of winter are over."

Okay, so that is going a little far. This is Minnesota, afterall. We still have close to 10 inches of snowpack, and it won't be going anywhere quickly. When I was rounding out the parking lot to finish up my run, I saw this snowman imploding. It made me chuckle to think that he is probably the only thing that wants that frozen air back.

10.28mi splits:
1: 8:49
2: 8:42
3: 8:43
4: 8:32
5: 9:27
6: 9:09
7: 8:58
8: 9:14
9: 8:38
10: 9:00
.28: 2:32
Air Temp: 37F

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