Friday, March 26, 2004

The Wonders of Spring

What a morning. It's not even 10:00, and I'm already halfway through a can of Mountain Dew. Also, I'm in pain.

I've been trying for quite some time to reduce my intake of carbonated beverages. For the most part, I've succeeded fairly well. I used to drink a ton of pop, and I've gotten it down to just several hundred pounds. I really try to avoid starting my day with it, but today I needed something to get me going. I was really dragging and having a hard time keeping my eyes open. I'm not sure why that is, as I slept well last night. I didn't get a lot of sleep, but it was no less than I usually get--probably about 5 1/2 hours, give or take a few minutes. I'm generally immune to the effects of caffeine (I can drink a can of pop and have no problem falling asleep shortly thereafter), but it seems to be working nicely this morning.

Being in pain is a minor irritation only. I really don't need to be able to move today. The reason I'm sore is because yesterday was a nice day, and I decided to take advantage of it by opening up my running season.

I took up jogging two years ago, but I can only do it when the weather is at least relatively warm. I can't handle gulping in cold air while doing something strenuous. That being the case, I take winters off from running. I went out yesterday for the first time this year. I knew the layoff would mean I wouldn't be in the same shape I was when I stopped last year, so I was fully prepared for the fact that I wouldn't be able to run as far as I used to. I was hoping for better than what I got, but it wasn't as bad as I feared. I don't know offhand how far I ran, but if I had to guess I'd probably put it at just under a mile.

So I'm feeling it today, but that too isn't as bad as I thought it might be. My lower back is pretty sore, and my quads are a little tight. I think my legs, at least, will work themselves out over the course of the day, and I'm hoping a can get a little back massage from Brandi when I get to her place this evening.

When I was in junior high and high school gym class, I hated running. Passionately. I wasn't sure I could get into it now, even though it's voluntary. If I had known when I first started that I'd still be doing it two years later, I would have been at least a little surprised. It's turned into something I like pretty well, though. I actually kind of like the feeling of being a little sore a day after exercising. I like going being away from my apartment and outside for a while. It gives me some time to unwind mentally and just think about different things. When I'm at home, there are always distractions--television, books, computer, etc. When I'm running, though, it's just me and my thoughts. Even if I don't have anything specific on my mind, it's good to shut down for a while and just look around as I run.

I started doing it just to get myself into better shape, and that's still the goal. Other than that, I admittedly don't get a lot of exercise. I work a desk job, and I sit around a lot when I'm at home. I also don't have the best diet in the world, although I'm fairly conscious of that and try to keep myself in check. I'm not overweight by any means, but I'm also not in great shape. I certainly wouldn't mind looking better, although that's not my main goal.

I generally run at night, mainly to avoid the sun in the summer. It works into my schedule better that way as well. Yesterday I ran in the early evening, about 6:15. It was supposed to rain later in the evening, and I wanted to avoid that. Also, I didn't know if it was going to get chilly after the sun went down, so I took advantage of the fairly warm temperatures (probably low 60s) while I had them.

While it didn't go as well as I hoped, it was nice to be out again. You can definitely tell that spring is coming to Bowling Green. Plenty of people were out and about, walking, running, riding bikes. People were cooking out, playing catch, or just sitting on their porches and having a beer. Also, the road construction on Wooster St. is getting into full swing.

Yep. Spring is definitely here. Woohoo!

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