One More Reason

A hint of spring filled the air as I pulled out of the driveway, shifting the transmission into drive for the commute to work.

Sunlight lifted over the horizon, penetrating the landscape and illuminating the half-asleep city. Winter appeared to be loosening its frigid grip as the ice turned to mush.

Soon, I told myself, the mornings will be rewarded with sunrises and familiar loops through the neighborhood rather than the monotonous droning sound of the treadmill.

And the promise of spring brings other rewards. Mainly, it brings a renewed sense of hope, both on and off the roads and trails.

Recently, the exercise of copying the monthly mileage numbers from the back page of old training logs and placing them into a spreadsheet served as a way to keep them handy. Devoid of notes, I wasn’t sure the black numerals would carry much meaning.

When I opened it to punch in January numbers, the spreadsheet presented two interesting insights. The consistent training during the first month of the year meant I had tallied one of my best January figures in 10 years of running. And it also revealed wide variations from month to month in my training, largely due to racing so many marathons, but the numbers from year to year are pretty similar.

My best races came after months of consistent training. But the numbers — laid out in black-and-white blocks — reinforced the results. It makes me that much more excited for building my base mileage this spring for the Utah Valley Marathon, and the hard training this summer for the Chicago Marathon. And gives me one more reason to slip on my winter running jacket and get out the door.