Today I ran outside.
No ovals, circles, ipods, television screens, moving belts, motors, mind games, etc.
I actually ran outside.
....and the sun was shining.
Sure, I had to jump over a few spots of ice and snow......and run through a mud pit (nope, this wasn't a Muddy Buddy race).
Amazingly less than 2 weeks after a major blizzard dumped 20 inches of snow on Chicago and pretty much shut the city down, I was running along the Chicago lakefront path with my two fellow LIVESTRONG Chics.
Who and what are LIVESTRONG Chics you may ask? Two rather dedicated friends that join me each year to participate in a Triathlon Relay to raise funds for LIVESTRONG. Dedicated because I refuse to jump in that lake for the swim portion....these two are always willing to don a wetsuit and swim. I am always more than willing to bike and run, as long as the other two Chics swim....and they do so without any complaints.
(If you want to support our efforts, please click this link to make a donation to LIVESTRONG)
The Chics also are my running partners. We have run with Elvis in several cities, on the Indianapolis Speedway, Churchill Downs, through the streets of Memphis, and through the neighborhoods of Chicago during my first Chicago Marathon for Team LIVESTRONG. They will be joining me in LA next month to run the Honda LA Marathon - I was already heading that way to run for Team LIVESTRONG and they signed up to join me. Great friends and running partners!
Sadly, one of the Chics recently moved to Chicago. This was a great opportunity for her but we were sad to see her go. We have done A LOT of our training for all our previous races together....mostly our long runs. Long runs with friends make them much more enjoyable.
Training for a marathon requires quite a few long runs and running in the winter is difficult.....even before you throw in a blizzard and sub zero temperatures.
The weather forecast for this weekend was a very welcome surprise. But in my little town, I would more than likely still need to run indoors.....round and round in circles (or ovals)....since the running path here is still covered in snow and ice. The Swimmer Chic was going to visit the Chicago Chic for the weekend, so a plan was hatched to meet in Chicago for a long run. A two hour drive there this morning....run....then two hours driving back. Worth it to run with the Chics and the opportunity to run outdoors.
Best plan EVER! It was a gorgeous day. Perfect temps, the sun was shining, the city looked beautiful (with the exception of the gray patches of snow). Running along the Chicago lakefront is an experience I highly recommend for all runners....and bikers....and walkers.
Skyscrapers gleaming in the sun, Soldier Field solemnly empty with the end of the Bears season, children joyfully sledding down a slope by the Field Museum, snow/ice sculptures melting along Navy Pier, a hot dog vendor perfectly located for a quick water break. Families, walkers, runners, bikers were all out enjoying a reprieve from winter.
Along with running on the lakefront path, we also incorporated two trips around Navy Pier - a fun escape even when you are running. Music blaring, people watching made it worth the cross wind we encountered as we ventured out on the pier sticking out into the frozen Lake Michigan.
It felt great to run outside again! I'm sure the temps will drop again, the wind chills will be miserable and snow will return, but today was a VERY WELCOME and NEEDED break from winter.
Come on Spring......spring out already!