Spring is my favorite season to get out and run. Maybe it's because we are coming off winter, but the temps always feel warmer than fall. 50 degrees in March is SO much warmer than 50 degrees in October. It makes it all that much harder that over the past six months (since Twin Cities) I've been running just to stay healthy and for the joy of it, and not to run a race. Last Saturday, I did actually run my FIRST race in six months. It was a two-mile race where I knew the pressure would not be high to run fast or place high. Even so, it was a difficult 11 minutes. My lungs were burning, my legs felt numb, and I tried not to think about the fact that the 10k racers were averaging faster over 6.2 miles than I was in an all-out 2 mile.
Despite how I felt during the race, it was how I felt before and after that will have me signing up for another race in no time. The pre-race ritual of a one mile shakeout, oatmeal for breakfast, two mile warm-up and stretching gets the adrenaline pumping, and the smell of spring doesn't hurt either. A post-race Pepsi and donut holes, combined with a two mile cool-down, allow me to leave feeling accomplished. Seven miles on the day, and an afternoon nap scheduled. It is the roller coaster of feelings that I suppose make up the "runner high".
So now with my first race of 2016 behind me, I've got plans to help Greg Koch get through the Lincoln Marathon on May 1st, followed by a trail race on 5/14/16. I'm not sure when I will get back to another road race (probably Memorial Day weekend), but I have definitely realized I have some work to do before then!