San Diego is known for its sunny skies, stunning sunsets and breathtaking coastline. It wasn't until I moved here that I learned of something called "May Gray" and "June Gloom" from San Diego residents. Granted, it's only April but the foggy mornings are beginning to set in. If you know me, you know I thrive off of sunshine! In Chicago I had to battle through the dark gloomy days, sometimes I'd wind up more or less defeated. This is precisely why I moved across the country to greener pastures. Chicago was often a blanket of gray. It is as if you are trapped in a black and white movie for several months out of the year.
As we are entering our May Gray period Chicago is coming into their well-deserved colorful seasons. I can still remember the excitement and energy in the Midwest at this time of year. Whether reading, eating or walking, everyone is outside! Chicagoans have the sincerest appreciation for warm weather and sunshine.
Confession: I have become a spoiled brat when it comes to weather. My ability to deal with nasty conditions has diminished so terribly that I can hardly handle a foggy day! 50 degree temperatures now call for a heavy jacket, whereas they used to excite me so much I'd be sporting flip-flops and shorts in celebration (and I was not alone in this). What has happened to me in just 6 months?
Yesterday, the foggy skies had me in a funk. I turned off my alarm after looking out the window and chose to sleep instead of run. Chicagoans are probably laughing as they think about their runs on 5 degree days through snow and sleet. This funk stayed with me through the entire work day and by the last hour I still did not feel like lacing up my running shoes. I wanted to be wrapped up on my couch with a book, but at the last minute I received an e-mail from Angela. She was letting me know she conveniently had a one hour break in between clients and could do a short run with me. I knew it was a sign that I should not ditch my run and I took her up on the offer.
5:00 sharp she was at my door and off we went. Angela's smile was a ray of much needed sunshine on my gloomy day. Without even realizing it the fog had burned off and it was in fact a beautiful day without a cloud in the sky. The run I didn't want to be on was suddenly enjoyable! We hit one of our favorite trails around Balboa Park appreciating every fuchsia flower bush along the way and saying hello to each friendly pooch. I felt strong on the hills and when we got to the stone staircase we both bolted up it without question.
I tend to be a solo runner; someone that uses running as a therapy session. It is my time to clear my head and sort through my thoughts. I work through things that are bothering me or weighing me down and I usually come out of each run clearheaded and far more composed than when I started. Today, I didn't have the motivation to even get moving and Angela provided the perfect company. I can't always do it alone, and although I am a very dedicated runner I have days where I lack inspiration and can use some encouragement.
Yesterday's run made me consider joining a run group. I have yet to experience the camaraderie that comes along with running and it may be nice to enter a new phase of the sport that I have not been fully exposed to. After all, even self-motivated runners like myself can use a partner to lovingly, and sometimes unknowingly, kick their butt into gear. I hope I can be that driving force for someone else next time.