Despite the groundhog, winter seems to be on a break here. A person could theoretically have worn shorts to run today, if she were so inclined. In early February! In northwest Montana! The local ski area was advertising "spring skiing" conditions, which typically means mashed potato snow and rain. Since my snowboarding ability and spring skiing conditions don't really get along, I decided to go for a run instead.
As soon as I stepped into the woods I had a sense of doom. The normally packed down path was soft. It was full of ankle-twisting holes from where heavier people had fallen in. I had to run slowly, and even walk down a treacherously icy hill. This was shaping up to be a BAD RUN. Runners know what I mean: those runs where nothing seems to go right.
But wait, I argued with myself as I ran (I do this a lot. Don't you?) This was the wrong way of thinking. This was actually a good run, because:
1. I was able to run. Lots of people aren't. I've had two involuntary running breaks, once when I broke my ankle skiing, and another time when I tore my ACL and had to have two consecutive knee surgeries. Then, I would have given a lot to be able to run, even if it was snowy and icy and annoying.
2. I was in the woods. I wasn't on a treadmill or a boring road. I was running through a quiet forest, and nobody else was out there.
3. It was warm. The air felt soft, like spring. I wasn't freezing or in the middle of a blizzard.
4. I was wearing running tights and microspikes, both of which weren't around when I started running (you wore sweats, and if it was icy, you just fell).
5. All this running on trails has helped me stay a runner for a mind boggling number of years. I've never had a running injury.
6. When I got home, there would be hot tub, cats, books, and chocolate.
In the end, I ran the route several minutes slower than usual. I slipped around and fell in some of the holes in the snow. An enthusiastic dog jumped on me. But really, all that didn't matter. I was able to get out there and run. That was the important thing.