Friday, March 21, 2014

After Work Happy Hour(s)

Because the upcoming weekend is my birthday weekend (yes, I get a whole weekend, not just one day) and because there really is no room in my birthday weekend for a long run, I decided to head out after work for an eleven mile happy hour(s). While most people's Thursday happy hour(s) probably in involved a different kind of cold beverage in a bottle and some college basketball tournament action, mine involved my two feet, some determination, a little exhaustion, some discomfort, and a lot of enjoyment. I decided to spend my eleven miles thinking of what made me happy while I ran:

1. Sunshine!  Thank you daylight savings time for allowing me to run in the sun after work. Sure it's a little blinding, but when you are accustomed to pitch black pre-dawn vampire-like runs, a cloudless sunny day is much appreciated. 

2. Turning off. I have been so work focused for the last few weeks (even spending most nights dreaming of the work that needs to get done) that it was very nice to turn work mode off and focus on something else and better for a few hours. 

3. Knowing that as soon as my run was over I would get to see my sister (soul) who was in town visiting me from NYC. I will tell you what, knowing that at the end of the run you get some girl QT (and pizza and cupcakes!) sure will motivate you to get going!

4.  Everyone else along the trail. The parks and trails were packed with families and couples and other people wanting to be out enjoying the weather. All of the waves and smiles really make a difference on those long runs. Sharing the beautiful day with other people, even if it's only just through a quick nod or other brief acknowledgement, reminds us how connected we all are. 

4.  Running across this sign. Duh!

5.  Knowing I would be done for the week after this run. One bad thing about Saturday long running is that you spend your weekend downtime waking up early and getting going before anyone else in the house had moved. Sometimes I really miss laying in bed and relaxing after a hard week of work and only getting up because and when I want to instead of when I have to. I am soooo looking forward to catching up on a few hours of sleep this weekend!

6.  Spring!  Yesterday was the first day of Spring and it was glorious. The wildflowers I told you about a while back are in full bloom. It's hard to be anything but happy as you run through this:

7.  And finally, this. No reason why.  It just made me stop and smile. 

Now just a couple of things that didn't make me so happy:

1.  The one billion or more swarming gnats. I swallowed, sucked in through my nose, and caught with my eyeballs more bugs than I'd care to write about. 

2.  Realizing that I run really slowly when I'm trying to learn French. I bet my average pace is 30 seconds slower while I'm trying to figure out how to say, "I would like to reserve a room for two nights for two people with a shower."  

3.  Being hit in the face with the fact that I am nowhere near in the shape that I was a few months ago. Eleven miles was very hard and I could tell that physically my body really isn't in the kind of shape it needs to be for me to be putting it through these kinds of runs. The good thing is I know why I'm not in the same kind of shape and I'm okay with it. I'm not a professional athlete. My life doesn't depend on me being in peak performance shape at all times. It's okay to go go through varying levels of fitness. It's not like I've given up. I'm still out there running happy. Just running happy a little slower.

Run happy and happy running!!

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