W1R3: Buds of Promise

Today, after reading all the stunningly supporting and inspirational responses to my two previous posts this week, I got my sluggish bum out the door for my third run of Week 1.

In spite of being unable to procure my much-needed inhaler in time for this jaunt (don't worry, I should have it in time for the next run), I was still pretty optimistic. I live in the Canadian prairie, and winter is the dominant season. Spring seems to be about 3 weeks long, followed by a couple of months of summer, before winter takes hold again. Here, the spring seems to come belatedly, in fits and starts, with winter begrudging every moment the loss of frozen power. We get warmer days of above-freezing temperatures, with snow melting in rivulets down our roofs and along our yards and sidewalks, sometimes in near torrents. Then, a day or two later, things cloud up again, and we get several more inches of the white stuff. Spring doesn't "really" come and take over until around May.

This week has been just like that. Major snow one day, then major melt the next, with any liquid water freezing into skating rinks every night. When I went out today, it looked for all the world like a full Winter-Wonderland Day. Deep snow in drifts along the paths, and many areas of the paths covered in hard-pack snow where others have already trod it down.

But looks can be deceiving. It was actually quite warm, and I got to leave my hat and gloves behind, plus I felt like I could breathe pretty well. The sun was beaming down, with a cold breeze to keep it all fresh and bracing.

And I noticed as I ran that the bare trees weren't exactly bare. Their branches are covered with little hard pellets - unopened buds - which someday very soon will open and show their bright verdant renewal.

I felt like that myself. After my long break from running, I am back at the beginning starting over. I am unsteady and out of shape, and it hurts in various places while I trounce along. I definitely lack any personal visual appeal out there - not looking or feeling flowery for certain!

But.... Having done this once before, I know it is only a matter of time. Just as those hard little buds will open and show the exuberance and renewal of leaves in spring, so to will I blossom soon. I will get stronger and faster, I will be able to breathe more easily, I will regain my health and strength.

They are a visual reminder of my own internal promise. And they keep me going. It turned out to be a really great run!


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38 Replies

  • What a beautiful post! Thank you for posting it xx

  • Thanks kick!

  • What a lovely and poetic picture you paint for us. Enjoy that feeling of growth and renewal. Happy running!

  • And happy running to you too. :)

  • A really great post, you paint a brilliant picture. Enjoy your runs & the feeling of growth as you progress.

  • Thanks Gingerbread. Sometime I just hang on to how I enjoy the beauty of nature, to distract me from the pain.

  • What a lovely and inspiring post.....I shall have a better run this morning just reflecting on what you wrote !

  • So glad to here it tomlertoos. Thanks very much for that! It makes me happy to think what I write might make someone else's run more pleasant.

  • It is lovely that you are rejuvenating yourself with the spring. Keep us posted.

  • Will do. I hope to post at least a little something for each run. It helps me process my lessons learned too.

  • It is a "bit too chilly" here full stop. Not just for you. Although the summers are really lovely, actually. Truth be told, I exaggerated a little bit. Winter is really only October through April here. May = spring, June, July, August = summer and Sept = autumn. But no fooling, I would much appreciate generally warmer weather throughout the year.

  • Very nicely put. Here in the west of Scotland we seem stuck in an eternal autumn.

    Good luck with the runs

  • That is very nicely put too! There may be daffodils, but it isnt springlike!

  • Thanks runner 56. Enjoy the autumn. ;)

  • I DREAM of having some cool weather to run in -- I am doomed to run in temps between 25C to 30C (and that is when it is at a suitable time, like sunrise/sunset) At least you don't have elevated body temperatures to deal with !! :)

  • It's true Bazza. I used to live in California, which can get very hot indeed in the summer. For the late spring and summertime, running here in Canada is really nice.

  • You will do it again and in a beautiful place to enjoy your weekly runs. Your surroundings will inspire and motivate you. I wish you all the best and nobody cares how we look in fact, you will surprised at the subconscious, verbal/non verbal admiration you will gain.

  • Thanks Carole. I do agree with you about the unimportance of "looks" while running. I was thinking just the other day about how many people seem to be shy about running out in public because they don't look like super-beautiful athletes (yet). I admit to twinges of vanity, but decided that when I want to exercise, I don't want to let my shyness interfere. So, by and large, it doesn't. Thanks for the reminder of priorities there!

  • Aaahhhhh Alaiyo I missed your posts you have such a wonderful way with words. Really pleased to hear you are getting your stride back, just in time for spring and the longer days of summer. Enjoy your return journey, stay with it and us too of course. Thank you for painting such a lovely image of your country :)

  • Thanks so much Oldgirl. So lovely to be reconnecting again. :)

  • A lovely post , I too am redoing the programme after a 9 wk break & yes we will do it again ! Keep up the good work & welcome back

  • Yes we can! Yes we can! Thanks Rockette. :)

  • A Picture in Words :)

  • It's because I can't draw. ;)

  • Inspiring. Best wishes.

  • Thanks Fitmo. Best wishes to you as well.

  • Lovely post Alaiyo and I love the way you structure sentences! Brilliant. You really have quite a lot to deal with in terms of climate because I wonder how on earth you run in snow?!! Well done for sticking with it. Our spring has sprung in the UK (well in London it has) so it is a lot easier to run when the temp is more agreeable. Keep at it and keep bringing us those poetic prose like posts ...!!

  • Thank you danzargo. I find sentence structure easier when I get to abandon grammar! And really glad it is beautiful in the UK for running now.

    As for running on snow, mostly the way I do it is veeeeery slooooowly. In all seriousness, if it isn't thick snow, then it is just uneven track that requires a little extra care. When it is icy, you just go around those bits. The ideal thing are running spikes (rather like soccer cleats in the way they give traction). I don't use those, because I am focusing on running in decent weather right now. Deep snow is something I've yet to really master... (and I have no ambition to need that skill!)

  • Beautiful. I have a friend in New Brunswick and she sent me photographs of their trees covered in icicles in the snow, looking closely I noticed the exact same thing as you about the buds, amazing to see in the midst of so much cold.

  • I never truly appreciated spring before I moved here. Now, I have a new reverence for every little hint of warmth and greenery. It does help me enjoy it more.

  • It almost majes me want to run in wintry weather! Almost.

  • Hang onto your old running shoes Nilzed and when we get snow next winter pull on some snow spikes over them, can be bought from Sports Direct for under £10 they are great and there is nothing better than running through forest tracks or a park in the snow, its the best :)

  • Lovely post Alaiyo! I adore winter conditions and you described them so beautifully!

    Good luck on your journey - and your blossoming!

  • Beek, I am so glad you got a moment of winter nostalgia. And thanks for your good wishes.

  • Wonderful post, thank you. Running is so much more than the exercise: it's a wonderful way to engage with the world around us.

  • So very true Tanyag. Thanks.

  • Such a lovely post - I am so glad that having made the effort you enjoyed the run! What an added bonus.

    Keep it up, and keep up the posts - I loved reading it (and am a little jealous of your snow...)

  • Thanks Snailspace - I am really glad you enjoyed it. I agree that it is a great bonus to enjoy the run, and I am happy whenever that occurs. As for snow-lust, it can be a nice novelty. After 7 months of winter, I am pretty blase about it, but you are right. Sometimes the change can be invigorating. Mostly, I am keen to run on dry track and won't miss the snow.

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