Spring is here! Lovely, gracious Spring: that time of blossoms, breezes, balmy temperatures, and…
Please excuse me, I’ve been a little sore lately. Last weekend, I ran Albuquerque’s (technically, Rio Rancho’s) Shamrock Shuffle 10k. I was happy to keep up with my goal of racing more in 2015, and I was satisfied with my performance, but good LORD, those hills. I felt like I was on a roller coaster. My legs felt like they were some place less amusing. You know those races where you can practically hear your body snickering even as you try to move around and eat protein right afterwards? Yeah…
In addition, I’ve started doing knee-strengthening exercises, courtesy of Runner’s World. Showing my knees some love in order to prevent future injury has been on my to-do list for years, but I’ve never addressed it consistently. I figure if I plan to run a marathon this fall, there’s no time like the present to improve my habits. A good idea, right?
Well, it turns out that in order to show your knees love, you work all the muscles around them. I mean you WORK. ALL. THE. MUSCLES. Around them.
Guess what this causes?
I’ll just say that there is no such thing as being too experienced to feel soreness in all kinds of fun new places.
So please excuse me if I’m wincing as I write this.
But really, isn’t this what Spring is all about? Launching into new pursuits? Coming out of dormancy, shaking things up, and showing reinvigorated signs of life?
And how often is all of that done easily, with no growing pains? Never.
It doesn’t happen in nature: sure, we may think it happens overnight, but it takes a long time for buds and blossoms to burst forth into the world.
It doesn’t happen in running: how frequently do we set PRs in our first race or two of the new year? Doesn’t it take pinning on a couple more numbers before we really reclaim our rhythm – or adjust to a new method of training, racing, and recovery?
It doesn’t even happen at home. At least not for me. When I look at my yard these days, I remember how it looked mid-summer of last year: flowers poking up happily, vegetable plants offering up their goods, and the weeds more or less under control. Remembering all that, I survey my presently desolate flower pots, and the first weeds taunting me, and I go “ulp!”
Progress takes effort. It takes effort, sweat, and, yes, soreness.
One of the many great things about this time of year, though, is that everyone is in it together! All of those plants are working hard at their blossoming business; animals are working hard dragging themselves out of hibernation; and people are working hard finding their groove again, whether it’s indoors or outdoors. Hard work is easier when you know you’re not alone.
And, hello, it’s Springtime. Beauty everywhere! Birds chirping everywhere! No more scraping frost off the windshield!
Okay, so I won’t complain about sore muscles. I will savor them. Because I know that when the soreness dissipates, whatever is left behind will be stronger and better.
Progress takes effort.
Happy Spring, everyone 🙂