I’ve missed you, Spring Running!

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I love the in between seasons for running: Spring and Fall. If I had to pick one, I would pick Spring. Spring, with the returning birds, returning sunshine (sometimes), the flower and flowering trees — it’s just so hopeful. It’s entertaining stalking all those signs of Spring!

Shedding layers
There comes a point when you’re just so over running in #allthelayers. You feel like a bundled up kid — it’s heavy, and it restricts movement. Like a caterpillar slowly making its way out of its cocoon, the warming temps of Spring allow us to ditch all the layers.

It’s not all rainbows and unicorns, though, because the mornings in early Spring can be pretty darn Winter-like. It takes a while for those longer days to start warming the roads (especially if there’s still snow on the ground), so as I wrote about in Prepping for Spring here, it’s not quite time to put away all your warm running clothes.

New sights
I don’t know about you, but I really struggle to find something to photograph on Winter runs. Often it’s really gray. There’s little wildlife and no pretty flowers.

As Spring begins to unfurl its leaves. there’s literally beauty everywhere around you. Even though we often seem to skip Spring and go straight into Summer, at some point the trees will have leaves, they’ll flower, and the Spring bulbs will bloom.

I have so much fun hunting down the signs of Spring, too!

Lightening the load
You could take that almost literally, as in the days are getting longer and the sun is putting in an appearance more often — both things that just put a smile on my face.

As we move further into Spring, though, I no longer need leggings with skirt. Then I can move on to capris. And one day it’s time to run in a skirt again! There is such a sense of freedom running in a skirt — not to mention not having to be on the lookout for black ice.

Sunny days. Rain. Lingering snow/ice. It’s all Spring.

Speaking of it’s not all rainbows . . .
The pretty flowers and flowering trees come at a price: for some that’s allergies, and for most of us that’s rain. Spring is often very wet, and when I lived in VT, it was known as mud season — for good reason!

I enjoy a nice run in a warm rain, but cold rain is the worst.

Can we talk about that wind? Spring comes roaring through some days — literally!

Time to race, anyone?
Spring is one of my favorite times to race. Races are sparse in Winter in these parts – but that oh so fickle weather can also get you in Spring races. Not to mention the Pandemic still chugging along.

Take stock of how you trained through the Winter. Are you really race ready, even if all you want to do is have fun? Consider building a base if you haven’t run as much during Winter. Have you kept up with strength training? Now is definitely the time to get back to it!

Consider hiring a coach to help you ease back into racing. We’ve got some great ones in these linkups!

You may also like 5 Spring Running Tips here

What’s your Spring weather like? 

Do you have RL racing opportunities? 

Enjoying (or sneezing through) the Spring flowers? 

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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Learning my Garmin: Runfessions March 2021

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I’ve had my Garmin Vivoactive 3 for almost 2 years now? Something like that. I know I was actually able to race with it . . . it’s amazing what I still don’t know about it! But first my car is making its way into my runfessions.

I runfess . . .
My car did not get driven for 6 weeks at the beginning of this year, mainly due to illness. I did go to see my mom in that period, but I take my husband’s younger car for those drives. I did not go to the grocery store at all in that period! I swear I heard it sigh with relief when I finally drove it — not to mention she started right up. I call her Old Faithful for a reason!

I runfess . . .
The first time I did drive my car was to the grocery store. I’d been cooped up so long, that even that seemed like an adventure!

I runfess . . .
Apparently what I really think about on the run (outside) is counting my run intervals (as opposed to what I wrote about here). I often just run when I’m on the treadmill, but am still using run/walk intervals outside. I know that I have approximately 4-5 run intervals per mile — and then I drink a little water.

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I runfess . . .
It took me years, but I finally realized that the vibration my Garmin Vivoactive 3 makes for a run/walk interval is shorter than the vibration it makes for each mile. If I’m paying attention and counting those run/walk intervals, I can usually tell when I’ve hit a mile just by the longer vibration. Which means I don’t have to look at the watch at all.

I runfess . . .
When we went on our hike last week, we crossed a road that crosses a path I used to run at often, although I haven’t run on that portion in a very long time. Winter, Pandemic. I have spent so many miles there.

Since I wasn’t driving, as we crossed the road that bisects the bike path, I looked up for some reason. Obviously I never do when I run, because I was astounded to see the McMansions that are perched on the hill above the path! Who knew?

How long does it take you to figure out your GPS watch? 

Have you been surprised by something on a route you run regularly?

What do you have to runfess from March? Come join us

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I am also linking up with:

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5 Spring Running Tips

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When you think about difficult running weather, what comes to mind? Apparently for me it’s Winter and Summer. I’ve written several posts on that subject. What I’ve never written about? Spring running tips! Spring may be lovely, but it roars in with its own set of challenges.

I know, I know — we’re almost in summer. But some of you are still dealing with cooler temps — I hope you find something to help you here.

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Yup, this was Spring!

Wardrobe Amnesia
I still sort of consider myself a new runner, and I’ve been running for 10 years. You would think I have dressing down pat, wouldn’t you? You’d be wrong! Winter and Summer can have their own challenges when it comes to dressing, but for most of us it will either be warm or cold.

Spring can have all four seasons in one day.

What’s a weather weary runner to do? It’s all about the layers! Windbreakers, arm warmers, jackets or tops that zip and unzip — they’re all your friend. You’ll probably be freezing before you run, but you’ll warm up quickly and either need to unzip, tie something around your waist, or shed a layer if that’s a possibility.

Also remember you need to look at way more than the temperature. I see this again and again: but it’s 55F out! Is it cloudy? Is it windy? Is it humid? What’s the dew point? 55 can feel an awful lot like 45 — or 60!

Try to keep your core, your head, and your hands & feet warm — doing so will make you feel warmer overall.

Different runners have different tolerances for cold and heat. You need to know what’s comfortable for you, and don’t worry about those runners in the shorts over there (or the ones in sweatshirts).

April Showers
In almost 8 years of running half marathons, I have only run one in April. April can be nice, but there’s a reason they talk about April Showers. My half was called Mud & Chocolate, was outside of Seattle, and totally lived up to its name — but I knew that going in.

If you choose in the middle of Winter to sign up for an April race, don’t be surprised if it’s not warm. Obviously its location can make all the difference, but everywhere except the south the weather can be very dicey in April (and even in the South!).

If you do get caught in a rainy race or training run, a baseball cap with a long brim (or at the very least a baseball cap with a brim!) just might be your new best friend. Raincoats have a tendency to not actually be very breathable, causing you to feel like you’re running in a sauna — or be too breathable, not keeping you dry. Ponchos (or the ever popular garbage bag) may be better option.

And do not forget the lube! Friction + wet = a recipe for pain

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This was an April race. There was snow on the ground just a couple of days before. On this one I would have been better off without the vest, though (always so hard to decide)

Even Worse: Snow Showers!
Yup, Spring Blizzards are a real thing. Heck, three years ago I did a half in Maine on a May Saturday. It was unseasonably warm. As we drove home through New Hampshire & Vermont, there was snow.

Never, ever, ever trust the forecast. Two days before my half the high on race day was predicted to be 50F. The race started in the 60s with lots of sun. I had only brought one race outfit and I totally regretted that decision.

Blown Away
Spring has a tendency to be windy. If possible, plan your route so that you’re running with the wind on your way back, when you’re more likely to feel tired. Accept that you may (and probably should) run slower, because it’s tiring running into wind. Even better, deliberately slow your pace a little.

Don’t wear baggy clothes. You know those crazy Crossfit people who run with a parachute on their backs? Yeah, you don’t want your clothes to create a parachute (a parachute’s job is to slow you down, after all!).

Finally, the wind will make it seem colder than it actually is. Especially if you work up a sweat. Dress warmer than you might if it weren’t a windy day (and make sure that your layers aren’t baggy again!).

Hello Sunscreen, My Old Friend
After the gazillion layers of Winter, it’s easy to forget that you need to put on sunscreen again. Just one sunburn will probably remind you quickly. Do yourself a favor and put it on before you get dressed — this allows you to get at areas underneath your clothes without getting the sunscreen on your clothes.

Doesn’t matter if it’s cloudy. You can get burned on a cloudy day. Don’t forget the sunnies (sunglasses) either — again, even on a cloudy day. Sunglasses do more than just keep the sun out of your eyes; they help to protect them from foreign objects and just protect your vision in general. You will rarely find me without sunglasses on, no matter what the season is.

  • Is it still Spring-like in your neck of the woods?
  • Which season is the most challenging for you to dress for?
  • Do you actually wear sunscreen and/or sunglesses year round?

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

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