Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Reach Up for the Sunrise

A funny thing happened on my run this morning.

I had a hill workout on the docket: a 25-minute warmup followed by six to eight hills of 90-second duration followed by a 15 minute cool-down. As usual for me during the week, I started in the dark. The streetlamps were illuminated, and I had to watch carefully for black ice on the sidewalks and streets. Early commuters swooshed past me with headlights on. In other words, pretty par for the course for my runs in the winter.

My hill of choice for this sort of thing is on the west side of a big slope. It's on a quiet street called Longs Peak Avenue (while steep, it's not as steep as its 14,259-foot namesake). I dutifully slogged myself up and down it eight times, trying to run as fast as I can, repeating "Light and fast" to the rhythm of my steps, mostly feeling good, but very much "in the run" and oblivious to the sky brightening to the east, especially since the east was hidden by the hill.

When I finished the hard part of the workout, I crested the hill and turned toward home by a winding route. I hoped to finish the cooldown just before my house with a block or so left to walk. I rounded a corner....and found myself bathed in full sunlight. Warm sunlight. Bright sunlight. Wish-I'd-worn-sunglasses sunlight.

Sunlight that said, "Spring is coming."

I haven't run in full sun on one of my morning treks in a long time. The most light I could hope for, even at the end, were the pink and gold streaks of imminent sunrise. That's always pretty, but very much a part of winter.

Now, I like cold-weather running. I like it better than hot-weather running. But what human being doesn't thrill to that first sign that a long darkness is ending?

If you live in a wintry spot, have you had your first sign of spring, however subtle it might have been?


25 comments:

  1. Ok this is so weird. Yesterday I could not comment to save my life now, now problemo! I really enjoyed your run for Sherry post!
    I'm noticing smidges of extra daylight at the end of the day while out on mom taxi duty. Nothing like the promise of spring, even after a not-so-tough winter!

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  2. Last night! Ran a fast four around the neighborhood after work and BEFORE the sun even began to set. Deep breaths, happy feet, and only capris and a long sleeve tech shirt! Also, I saw about a dozen robins flying around - felt like heaven!!

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  3. I had a great ride outside today.  I love the signs of spring and one of those was the sight of bikers!

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  4. So true, Christi! When I start to see more bike commuters on the Diagonal, I'll know for sure spring's around the corner.

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  5. We had our second snow this morning (although it mostly melted by the evening), so I feel like winter just arrived.  I'm so excited for spring and it really is coming up quickly!

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  6. Spring is my winter...it is here and I dont want it to leave....EVER
    I am dreading the return of the summer
    Seriously...why do I live in Southern California...we have 10 mos of summer here...6 of them are HELL for me

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  7. I love that kind of sunlight.  I am starting to feel like that a little bit but hate to get too hopeful as it is only halfway through Feb and March can be awful sometimes too.  Great job on your run!

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  8. Yes! Yes! Yes! Light! I got to run outside after work in the full light! Yes!
     

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  9. My mom was telling me all the plants that were coming up at their house.  I was so jealous because spring is so far off here.  I don't count it as spring until it stops snowing here...so late May.  I miss leaves so much.  I want spring to be here!!!! Okay, I'm done whining! 

    Glad you had a good run and got to see a beautiful sunrise!  Now that is a great morning!

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  10. It's light when I leave work now!!! That is the most happy feeling ever!!! I love signs of winter ending. Spring won't show up in Maine until.... Well, if we are lucky then sometime in may. :p

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  11. We've actually just had practically our first sign of WINTER.  This has been the weirdest year.  I LOVE the first signs of spring, though, it fills me with such a joy, I can't even tell you. 

    Ah, dark running...that's where I'm headed quite soon.

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  12. I admire your ability to get out there in the dark! Maybe if I had street lights near me I'd be a little more brave. Signs of spring are here - all our snow is melted! (Not that we had much snow to begin with.) Who knows thought, we could still have some big March snows coming... 

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  13. I TOTALLY agree! I'm so happy that the nights are getting shorter. Sometimes it gets a little old to do every single mile for the week by the light of a headlamp.

    "Longs Peak" does sound slightly intimidating.

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  14. I've definitely noticed it's lighter later in the day!  I'm with you, I prefer cold weather running - but I do like sunlight.  :)

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  15. soak up those rays as they come! :) i'm lucky though and the sun has been poking out here for awhile but it's still chilly. 

    great job on that hill workout, i had a flashback to a street i used to do hill repeats on, it was on a really busy street and i'd always think it must be funny wat those people on the bus would think of me...busting my bum up a hill, i'm sure i was UGLY on those few repeats...hehe. hey, all in the name of running faster! :)

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  16. since i don't live in a wintry spot do i not get to answer? well too bad :) I was actually busting to get out of the apt yesterday around 5:30 because I realized it was light out and it really hadn't dawned on me that the days really are getting longer again!! WOHOOO

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  17. That is cool.  I normally notice it the other way -- noticing it being lighter later, before sunset. 
    I don't run in the morning.  It is weird, but in the town I live in, everyone walks everywhere, so if I run at 7 or so, I see guys I know walking to the train to go to work, or kids walking to school.

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  18. I have not done an early morning run in months, but I love running while the sun comes up.  Warmth and sunshine in February is sounds amazing... so weird that I never had a winter this year!

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  19. I am finding as I age, I am not a cold weather person....I feel like I have been cold for the past 5 years - non-stop.  I welcome spring, even with all the allergens filling the air and congesting my sinuses and making me miserable.  It's a much better alternative to these cold days.  Bring on Spring!!!  

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  20. It wasn't really sunny yesterday when I ran but way warmer than my Sunday run and it was the first time I noticed that it is getting darker later at night.  SPRING!

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  21. HA, I've noticed while drinking my morning coffee and raising the blinds in the house.

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  22. yay for the first signs that Spring is coming!

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  23. It wasn't pitch black tonight when our group met up to run! THere wasn't any sun but there was an eery twilight over the mountains!

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  24. I'm SO looking forward to that first sign of spring!

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  25. Wow! I love this post!

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