Here in Boise, the weather has inexplicably turned to spring. We’re getting temperatures in the 40s and 50s, and rain.

Call me crazy, but a small part of me was jealous of the snow that I got to see coming down on Chicago watching the Blackhawks play the Penguins at Soldier Field Saturday night. It’s been so long since I’ve been in snow like that, falling thick and piling up and sticking around for more than a day or two.

Sure, I don’t like the part about Chicago winters wherein the sun doesn’t come out for three months at a time, but I do miss the snow sometimes.

So while much of the country is still dancing with winter, I went on my first outdoor run of the year Sunday morning.

My husband and I left the house around 8am. The sun was already up, but covered in clouds. There were a few drizzly drops, but it wasn’t actually raining. It had rained overnight though, and my feet were soon cold and damp in my FiveFingers shoes.

It seems like the last few times I ran outside, I would forget about holding my core tight and my pelvis level and I would manage to aggravate my ITB issues – especially wearing those shoes. But this time, I focused on keeping my form. I ignored my sore calves and the wind trying to blow me back home as I ran out a little more than a mile and a half, dodging the earthworms and goose poop that littered my path.

I also focused on my breathing. When I forgot to charge my music player before Saturday’s run at the gym, I was a bit disappointed. I rely on music – especially when running on the track – to keep me from getting bored. But this time, without my distraction, I noticed how I was breathing. Even when I wasn’t running particularly hard or fast, my breathing would speed up and get shallow. I realized that I didn’t need to breathe like that; I could take deeper, slower breaths and still have enough air to run, more than enough.

I took that with me on Sunday’s run as well, though the cold air and wind made it harder to believe that I had enough air. I think I’ve been afraid to run faster, because I was already breathing so hard while running so slow. But if the breathing is just a trick, something I’ve taught myself through panic, then maybe I can run faster than I think.

I did run faster (and farther, a little) than my husband. That’s good – I’ve got nearly 22 years on him, I should be able to run faster! But I don’t think I’ll be beating my personal best 5K time when I race on 3/8.

Instead, I’m just going to have to have fun.


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