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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Wacky Weather Wednesday

"When famine or plague comes to the land, or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers, or when enemies besiege them in any of their cities, whatever disaster or disease may come..." -- 2 Chronicles 6:28

Yesterday, Wednesday, was my "speedwork" day (i.e. intervals run at or slightly faster than projected marathon pace).  Normally, I work the later shift at work and have been doing my workout in the early to mid morning hours.  My co-worker is on vacation for the month of March (I know what you're thinking--how do I get a gig like that?) so I've been relegated to the 6-2 shift.

I also teach Spinning every Wednesday for an hour at lunchtime.  Typically I use it as a post-run recovery to just lightly spin the legs.  I like being freshest for the run workout, because it's more specific to what I'm doing (marathon training).  Since I'm a little backwards this month (no comments, please), I decided to run longer and slower after work instead and switch the speedwork to Fridays.

I enjoyed the warmth and view of the sunshine from my window at work, noticing temps were in the upper 30's and lower 40's.  Sounds like pretty good running weather for early March, wouldn't you say?

Except for this one, simple fact:  I live in New England.  And, as they say:  if you don't like the weather in New England, wait a minute.  Because it's going to change.

This statement never held truer than it did yesterday.

I got home around 2:45 and noticed it had gotten cloudy outside.  The forecast did mention the possibility of scattered showers in the afternoon, so I can't really feign ignorance.  I shared my ambivalence with my husband about the whole "inside or outside thing".  He suggested outside, saying I can just dress for the conditions.  After a little more hemming and hawing, I decided to dress for outside, opting for a dri-fit baseball hat instead of the normal headwrap I wear...just in case we were in for a little rain.  I even put my sunglasses on the top of my head.  You know...just in case.

What can I say?  I'm a "glass is half full" kind of gal.

And, off I went.

About five minutes into my run, the wind picked up and there was some schmootzy stuff flying in the air (yes, schmootzy is a technical weather term).  Could have been rain...could have been sleet...could have been a mix...I wasn't quite sure.  In fact, I ran by the elementary school on Main Street and, after exchanging pleasantries with the crossing guard, I said, "is it raining or snowing?  This is bizarre!"  He chuckled and I kept going.

Well, wonder no more.  The sky got darker.  Schmootz turned into flurries.  Flurries turned into snowflakes.  Windy turned into gusty.  Snowflakes turned into wet, heavy snow that came down like cotton balls from the sky.  It was like freakin' Armageddon out there.  The only thing that was missing was the locusts. 

At this point, I'm about 1.5 miles away from my house and I can barely see.  Not only that, but I have to turn my face sideways in order to avoid being pelted from the oncoming onslaught of the super duper mutant schmootz flying around.

I was wet, cold and a little cranky.  Okay, more than a little.  My "glass" was starting to look a whole lot different than it had earlier.

Which prompted this recurring thought:  This is the last time I ever listen to my husband about anything.  He's the one who encouraged me to go outside in the first place.  Grumble, grumble, grumble.

Of course, it wasn't his fault but, blame always feels better, doesn't it?  It's amazing how our default mode of thought can be so irrational.  After mentally kicking the poor soul around for a few more minutes, I realized how silly the whole thing was.  I was already out there, after all.  Why not just accept the weather for what it is and keep running?  It was either run or walk home.  Even with the headwind, I could get home faster if I ran.  Shortly after that decision, I noticed the cotton balls gave way to flakes, and the sky went from smoky to light gray.  A few minutes later, the flakes became flurries and there was a beam of filtered sunshine streaming through the storm clouds.

And, then it just stopped.

The sky became blue and the sun came out.  JUST as I approached the street I live on.

Instead of turning left and heading for home, I continued along the main road, turning up my tunes and sliding my sunglasses on my face.  What started off as a cold, uncomfortable run ended up being bright and sunny.  It was almost like getting a reward from Mother Nature for staying the course and sticking it out, even if it wasn't the best conditions going in.

It's kind of a lot like life sometimes, isn't it?  Sometimes, we're faced with a situation that appears to be negative.  But, if we just shift our perspective and see it as an opportunity for growth, it ends up being a blessing in disguise.  I couldn't change the weather, but I could change my thoughts about it.

Hmmmmmm.  Mother Nature.

Maybe she's not so bad after all.

 Is this a time to be cloudy and sad, when our mother Nature laughs around;

When even the deep blue heavens look glad, and gladness breathes from the blossoming ground?

-- William Cullen Bryant


I'm pleased to announce that I've raised +/- $695 for the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, which establishes scholarship funds for youth that can't afford to go to college.  I'm only $55 away from meeting my goal.  If you are a fan of education, football or running, please visit my page.  Every little bit helps:

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