Running through the seasons

I like running outdoors.  There is something about being surrounded by nature and enjoying it with all of your senses. I have tried treadmills but quite frankly they are boring. And monotonous.  and just plain boring.  Kudos to anyone who uses a treadmill regularly. You are mentally tougher than I am.

You can’t see sunsets from a treadmill, unless you are facing a Western window.  Some sunsets literally fill the sky with the hues of oranges, reds and purples.  It is truly breathtaking to be surrounded by a sunset such as this.  On one of my runs last summer I was running eastward trying to cover as much distance as I could before it got dark.  When I turned around I literally stopped in my tracks and just stood there in awe.  I had no idea the sun was painting the sky with such vivid colors behind me.  I ended up walking most of the way back to my car because I just wanted to feel inspired by that magical sunset. tsunset

2015 was my first calendar year for running regularly.  This was the first time that I was able to see the seasons unfold around me.  There is something Bad Ass about running in -30c temperatures, or on slippery roads with freezing precipitation sandblasting your face.  2015 was the Year of the Snow, with tall snowbanks that did not go away until sometime in April so I had lots of opportunity for Winter Running.

Evening winter runs are the best with nothing but the the moon and fresh crisp air surrounding you.  The swish swish of your jacket,  the underfoot crunch of frozen snow.   Runs like this are very therapeutic.  “Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes, silver white winters that melt into spring, these are  few of my favorite things.”

I love that description of the change from Winter to Spring. ..silver white winters that melt into  Spring..   It really is that simple.  Some days it feels like winter is going to last forever, but Spring always keeps it’s promise of arriving every year, and usually on schedule.   As the snow melts, new growth starts poking through the earth. The first dandelions are always a welcome sight.  Crocuses, tulips, green grass… it is all there slumbering underneath the snow just waiting for the time to be right.   crocus

Spring time running provides a buffet for the olfactory system.   Apple blossoms,  fresh earth, greens sprouts… so many wonderful smells to enjoy.   As the piles of snow disappear they reveal many surprises that don’t smell so pleasant, namely moldy grass and doggy doo!

And there is nothing like running on a trail for the first time after a long winter. What a treat!  You don’t get your running shoes muddy on a treadmill.  Trails allow you to get close to nature and see birds nesting.  I run along the Peticodiac River and the trail meanders through some beautiful wetlands.   It is always a delight to see the ducklings.   Red winged blackbirds are probably the prettiest birds that I have ever seen.

Summer is my least favorite time of year to run because of the heat.  But it is very relaxing to end my day with an easy run by the river, enjoying the cool breeze.  Early morning runs are pretty cool too, watching the fog rise from the marshland and finishing the run just as the sun’s warm rays creep over the horizon. Summer runs on a rainy day are especially magical.    Splashing through puddles,  getting soaked head to toe… it is like being a child again.

Autumn is perfect for running.  The temperature is comfortable, humidity is low, and the scenery is stunning.   Squirrels and chipmunks scurry around preparing for winter.  The trees dress themselves in their finest colors before disrobing completely.  Crunching over dried leaves makes me smile every time. Sadly autumn changes to winter and we start over again and we begin the challenge again of figuring out what to wear.

I love running outdoors.  Living in the city, it is only opportunity I have to get out and commune with nature.  I am so blessed to live close to forested trails and river side trails.  It is never boring, and often very inspiring.  No dreadmill for this gal.



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