Alfred, Lord Tennyson said "in the Spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love." Those words are true, and they are limited neither to age nor gender. Men and women, old and young love this season. Spring is the symbol of rebirth. I feel it, you feel it, we all feel it. We feel alive.
But there is something that makes us different from other folks, for in our spring our fancy lightly turns to thoughts of running. You know what I'm talking about, I know you do. I feel the same way and it feels great.
Those of us in cold climates trade indoor exercise to hit the bricks. We throw open the doors, say goodbye to treadmills, and head out at a trot. Returning birds sing joyfully, blooming flowers smell sweet, and the winds blow warm. It's been a long time since we inhaled cool, fresh air, and we savor every breath. Some of us run on roads that still carry salt used to deter winter's ice while others of us ramble through trails muddy and soft from run off.
It's different for those of us who run in warmer climates. We are lucky enough to shed outer layers for shorts and short sleeves. The sun feels good on your legs. Scratch that, it feels great! If our runs take us past blooming magnolias we are the better for it. Our thoughts indeed have turned to love and for us, we love to run.
Old Man Winter sometimes puts a pout on our bellies, one we can't wait to see melt away. In the beginning we run for shorter distances at slower speeds. After a week or two our endurance is back. When our run's done we stretch until we are as elastic as a rubber band. Just as sap runs up a tree in the spring we return to our competitive selves.
Soon enough we're in the kind of condition to hit the track to run intervals and stadium stairs. We alternate those sprints with LSD runs, thankful for longer days and shorter nights. Spring is race season and we're ready. We're light, we're fast, and we're ready to rock. 10K's, and half or full marathons don't stand a chance. Spring is our time, and we're just getting warmed up.
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