The sun rose over Madison this morning, again a little earlier than yesterday, as temperatures clicked up and up from the sub-zero mid-week pain to a comparatively balmy 34 degrees today. When I stepped outside to check on the chickens, things felt brighter, milder, and even more excited with birds chirping. Spring - eventually - will come around again; its first harbingers are arriving. One of my favorites is the summer Team In Training team beginning their journey! Last weekend, we kicked things off with a shoe clinic at Endurance House, followed by our first Team run. This season sports an outstanding mix of experienced and beginning runners and walkers, with a tangible passion for the challenges ahead. Always an exciting time, a time when I envision the successes ahead. It's going to be one heck of a season!
Here we are as we set out for our first team run of the year!
A lot of local races fit perfectly into our training schedules - for the Green Bay and San Deigo half and full marathons. Right out of the gate, the Valentine's Day 5k was this morning, just downtown and run by my own first TNT coach Ronnie. A few hundred people were there, some of them sporting some seriously pink and red outfits! I was glad to have the opportunity to spend 5,000 meters with a new friend, and was happy to see a few friends that winter had kept separated for a few months. Kudos to Art and Rich from the Tahoe cycle team for coming out to run, even after their 6:00am spin class! Special cheers to Roz, my teammate at the Mardi Gras marathon last February, who is visiting from England for 10 days, but who didn't want to pass up the opportunity to come out to the races. What else says Madison like running in the snow?!
The above-freezing temperature was a welcome break from the uber-cold days we've had, and was really quite mild for running. I'm looking forward to the week ahead - as more roads and sidewalks clear off and the sting disappears from the air. I'll get to know more of the new team and tweak training plans for a whole new set of individual goals. Some of the reasons why participants join will become apparent and will motivate all of us. Some other reasons will be kept inside and they're equally motivating - because isn't it one of the lessons that this teaches us: that you never know what struggles people might be going through, and shouldn't they deserve kindness whether or not those struggles are apparent?
Way to go, Team! Alumni and newbies - all supporting the same cause