Sunday, March 16, 2008

Still alive...and ready for Spring!

It's been quite a few days since my last post. Since then I have done about everything but run. Wednesday afternoon I developed a nasty sore throat which by Friday had developed into my first full blown cold in over a year (which is saying something considering I have two youngsters in daycare). So, I wasn't able to coax myself to run this weekend. But all was not lost.

Thursday I took advantage of one of L.L.Bean's best and unique benefits, the Outdoor Experience day. Each L.L.Bean employee is given so many days to practice what the brand represents. That is, we get days off to do what we sell: camp, hike, ski, hunt, fish, etc. These days are above and beyond the vacation days we get. So on Thursday I organized a trip to Pineland for some snowshoeing and cross country skiing. Seven of my fellow co-workers participated with half skiing and the other half snowshoeing. Despite the warmer weather and ran last weekend, the trails were perfect and the day was gorgeous with the most beautiful view of Mt. Washington I have seen from there (barely visible in photo). I was able to get in about 2 1/2 hours of skate skiing which was a great workout. As my throat was hurting pretty bad Thursday night, I skipped my run.

Friday my cold was in full swing so I took the day off and ate instead. I joined my team for a Gritty's lunch and then dinner at Flatbread Pizza Company with some friends. Pure gluttony, but there is no better way to celebrate bonus day! Saturday was terrible. Terrible night of sleep and I did not want to get out of bed. I finally pulled myself up and joined Kelly on some morning errands. I am glad I joined her because the day ended up containing a milestone. While we were out we took Riley to see her first movie in the theater - Horton Hears a Who. Good fun. Today my cold is much better and I did get out with the family to Shawnee Peak for an afternoon of downhill skiing. Riley further honed her skiing prowess and while this was probably the last of this year's skiing, she is well positioned to kill the slopes next year!

I do feel like this past week mentally closed out the winter for me. Since living in Maine, the end of each winter and summer finds me at a point where I am ready for it to be done. This is not unique to me, as I suspect about everyone up here goes through this. However, having lived in Virginia where each season is represented beautifully, up here we only get a winter and summer with "something" in between. There is no clear definition. Summer just ends and winter begins, and vice versa. There are no cherry blossoms in March to herald in Spring and warn you summer is coming. I guess the closest thing in mind up here to welcome spring is the apple blossoms which happen in mid to late-May, but by that time we are only a week away from our hottest week of the year. I guess you could count the crocus as an early indicator but most of the time these hardy guys are required to poke there flowers through snow cover!

The reason for that diatribe is to simply say I am ready for spring and some trail running, on dirt. I am ready to join the Trail Monsters on Tuesday nights and I am ready to start spending my early weekend mornings out on Pineland's beautiful trails. It is race season and it is time to start putting in the real miles!


Jamie said...

You said it very well. I can't wait to run on trails where there is dirt under my feet, and not snow. It's been a fun winter, but like you, I'm ready for the change.

I'll be in Vermont this weekend, otherwise I'd do the long run. I'll start joining the Tuesday night crew soon though, as soon as the snow melts (which shouldn't be much longer, knock on wood).

Glad you're feeling better!

Anonymous said...

The slow melting of the snow pack will reduce the risk of spring floods, but it is a death by a thousand cuts for us who dream of dirt trails.

NOAA is predicting below normal temperatures through the end of the month. Yuk!

Trail Monster Running said...

In less than 4 weeks I'll get to run 50 miles on Virginia dirt, Woo Hoo! I'll bring some back for you guys.