A Fresh Start

It can be tough for a gal who spent 18 years in damp England, 10 in blustery Chicagoland and the rest in yes-we-still-have-seasons Northern California to adjust to living here in sunny SoCal. We’re located in Temecula, which is essentially a desert climate. Since we moved here in January it seems every day has been dry and at least 80 degrees, with a daily average of between 90-105 for months. I’m sure there have been a smattering of cooler days mixed in too, but trust me when I say they are a rarity.

With this in mind, I find myself utterly overjoyed that the last week has brought with it some (gasp!) clouds, and yes, even a night of rain. I’m nowhere close to running in long sleeves yet, and I did peek at this week’s forecasted 90+ degrees with an audible sigh, but I can feel winter approaching in the cool morning air and I’m oh-so-ready.

I feel refreshed in another way too. After battling a glute strain coupled with a very angry and painfully inflamed hip bursa for weeks, I finally feel that I’ve managed to get to the bottom of the matter (ha, ha), resolve it, and I’m back on track feeling better than ever. I literally got to the point of wondering if I might have a femoral stress fracture, it was that sore. You should have seen me hobbling after both of my most recent races! Thank goodness the diagnosis was much less serious.

Following my last race, I took a full five days off from doing anything at all and sought treatment. I’ve tested it out on a few shorter runs and it feels brand spanking new. Not that my enthusiasm for running was ever remotely flagging (ask anyone who knows me — it’s a borderline obsession), but there’s nothing like the simple act of running pain-free to reinvigorate. It’s given me a fresh perspective, reinforcing how thankful I am for this gift of running.

There are a lot of exciting races on my schedule for the coming months and I can’t wait to kickstart the next round of intense training in cooler — but always runnable — weather. While I prefer a slightly less subtle nod to the seasons, I’m grateful to be in SoCal at this time of year. I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to Christmas with palm trees, but the autumn trails sure are fabulous and, in my book at least, that makes up for a lot.

Finally, in watching yesterday’s NYC Marathon, I was reminded of how very fortunate those of us in milder climates are not to be constantly battling the more frosty elements. A quick search on Runner’s World reveals plenty of articles about how to deal with running in frigid conditions, which I scanned with curiosity. Screws in shoes to get traction on ice? Articles with titles like, “Will My Lungs Freeze On a Cold Run?and “Tips For Running in Sub-Zero Weather.” Thank goodness not to have to deal with that! Here’s to cold nights, sunny days, and dreaming of a time when I can finally justify pulling out a pair of gloves to go for my midday run.

SoCal in the fall. Which is a little hard to distinguish from SoCal in the summer. Or any other season.

SoCal in the fall. Which is a little hard to distinguish from SoCal in the summer. Or any other season.

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