Monday, March 23, 2015

My Trail

I wouldn't say I'm a particularly outdoorsy person. I don't particularly enjoy camping or hiking. Bugs of all kinds are my nemesis. I like flora and fauna just fine, but seeing a rare flower doesn't send me into raptures. Basically, I like the outdoors just fine, but I also like the indoors. We have a very comfortable home, and I enjoy spending time there.

My trail
That being said; this winter really made me miss my trail. My trail is about a mile from my house, and goes farther than I have yet to run in either direction. My trail has beautiful shady trees in the summer, and lovely fall foliage. My trail is quiet and peaceful. Running on my trail gives me a chance to process things in a way I can't when running on a treadmill, or laps at the track, or even around our neighborhood.

I love the fact that I could round a bend in the trail, and see a family of deer just hanging out together. I love the way it smells like green things. I love the feeling of being the only person in the world, when there's no one else around me. I can hear myself breathing, and the birds singing, but everything else is silence.

A run on my trail feels shorter, because I'm looking around me, and appreciating my surroundings, not focusing on the miles creeping by. I've stopped on more than one run, just to admire my surroundings.

I'm so lucky to live so close to such a great place to run, but this winter showed me one thing I hadn't realized: the trail isn't plowed in the winter. Instead of my lovely, easy runs of spring, summer and fall, my first post-snow run was a nightmare. I had to dramatically alter my stride, to pick my feet up out of the snow with each step. Rather than gliding along effortlessly, I was slogging through on a surface that was maddeningly slippery, yet sticky. I quickly found myself leaving the trail and heading back for the sidewalk. Though not as picturesque, I decided that running loops of my neighborhood was easier and safer than attempting to run on the thick snow carpet of the trail. Too bad I don't have cross-country skis!

Now that winter is (almost) behind us, I'm getting back onto my trail for runs, and I absolutely love it! On a run at dusk last week I ran into my first deer of the spring (almost literally). It's exciting to see the changes taking place, as the snow melts, and the green comes back into the world. As the weather continues to improve, I plan to do as much running on my trail as possible. For some reason, I never get bored out there. I can't wait to see what the trail has in store for me this year!

Since we're talking so much about running, here's the tally so far: I'm at 85.2 miles for the year. I'm definitely behind where I'd like to be, but weather and illness had to be accommodated. I think I might be able to make it to 100 miles by the end of the month, but I'm not going to stress out about it. I know I'll be able to get out more and run further as the weather continues to improve. It's been a slow start to my resolution, but I know I've got 500 miles in me this year!

Friday, March 13, 2015

My Happiest Time of Year

It seems like we've finally turned a corner here, and spring might actually be on its way!

Aside from the lovely weather, this time of year is one of my favorites, because it has held so many happy times over the past few years.

After our romantic anniversary dinner.
Hubby and I got married on March 7, 2009, so that kicks off my happy list. This year, we celebrated our sixth anniversary with a special trip to the West Baden Springs Hotel (babysitting courtesy of my parents). We had a fantastic time, even though we did practically nothing! We'd all come down with a respiratory virus, so the whole family was coughing and uncomfortable. That may have put a damper on any desire to explore the beautiful surroundings at the hotel, but we more than made up for it. We spent the whole weekend snuggling, eating, talking and sleeping!!!!  Glorious sleep!

I know the Things had a great time without us, because they got to spend the weekend with Nana, Grandad, Aunt Sarah and GG. The next thing on my happy list is my Grandma's birthday (or GG, as she's known to the babies). Since her birthday is March 8th, most of the family got to celebrate with her this year. She even started the party early by coming over to help my parents babysit the Things. She keeps saying that the time she gets to spend with them is some of the happiest she can remember. Since I thought my sister and I made particularly adorable grandchildren, I've considered being insulted, but I can't be upset when the Things are so stinkin' cute!

Next up on the happy list is kind of still GG's birthday, but a specific birthday. Two years ago, the whole family was together to for Grandma's birthday, so hubby and I got to give her a very special "Great Grandma" birthday card, and share our special news with everyone. It was earlier than we were planning on making the announcement, but we really wanted to take advantage of the fact that everyone was there at the same time. Yeah, that was a pretty good day!

Half birthday seflie!
The last item on the happy list is a bittersweet one. My Things turned 18 months old on the 10th! I don't know how it's possible that these little humans are suddenly one-and-a-half, but it's absolutely amazing to see how they've grown and changed. They're real people, with real personalities, and they're so much fun right now! They're both so sweet and affectionate (nothing's better than baby kisses and hugs), and we're all having so many adventures together. I love coming home in the evening, to see them standing in the window, waving at me. I love going in to see their smiling faces first thing in the morning. I love reading them books, and seeing as they learn new words, and slowly start to try them out loud.

With all of the awesome memories around it, is it any wonder that this time of year is one of my favorites? That's not even counting the awesome time Hubby and I had on our honeymoon, the week after our wedding! Seriously: March rules!

Since I've been horribly congested and hacking up a lung, I took the week off of running. Resolutions are important, but health is more important. Hoping to get my first spring run in tomorrow...

Happy spring, everyone! Now, go enjoy it!