Training in the Northeast this winter hasn't felt like training in the winter. With the exception of a few days in the last two months, no one has had to dodge patches of ice or run around piles of snow blocking favorite paths. In some ways, it has taken away the pain of training for the spring marathon. In other ways, it's harder because the body hasn't had a good excuse to put away the watch and just enjoy the run.
A trip to Arizona finally gave me that chance to hit the internal reset button. The hotel where stayed was located at the base of a small mountain. Small enough that I knew I could run around. And I could hear it telling me the same thing.
I looked at my watch. ..three hours before I had my first meeting. I unpacked my clothes, put on the shoes, and just headed straight on the road. Even at 1200 feet, the air seemed to burn. Maybe it was the sharp corners going up the hills. A few groups of bikers passed me doing hill repeats.
Any residue of a 5 hour flight on a plane was quickly gone. The mountain slowly turned as I hit a comfortable stride. I don't know how fast I went. I don't know the total time. The hills were tough. The cacti were amazing. As Jen Rhines once said, "Life (and running) is not all about time but about our experiences along the way."
I'm back and ready for another year.