There are actually buds on many of the trees along my usual running paths now, and although it is somewhat early for anything substantive to come from those buds, it is nonetheless evidence that life is crawling back into the area again. Only yesterday, I heard several birds idly chirping outside my office window, which hasn’t happened since late October or so.
This motivates me to run harder and faster, for I know that as long as there is life in nature, there is some life in me. I can’t really muster up many good long vigorous runs in the winter, but that could either be lack of motivation due to the depressing weather or the fear of slipping and falling and becoming a late runner. You can feel the green, if you will, and I am not talking about a particularly salacious suggestion made at last year’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities (though many of my friends will no doubt remember that the victim was me). I can sense the warm weather making a slow return, so I pretend I am running toward it, and this is why many of my best runs came early in the spring when I was running as fast as I could away from the stray snow squalls that would occasionally pay a visit to Michigan around early April. It is simply nice to be a runner and be faced with this transitional period between seasons where the worst is leaving and the best is coming.
The best thing about March, however, is not the fact that once in a while, you can actually find a freak warm day and wear shorts, but that it is not January of February, which are the darkest and creepiest months for any runner in the Great White North. The rains of March are simply cold and dank, but not cold and dank and consisting of ice. The winds of March are cool, but at least you aren’t standing in a meat locker when you stop at an intersection. The feeling of March is still one of mild trepidation, but at least the reason is not that you may slip on snow-covered ice and push your cranium into your brain as a result.
I will admit that I cannot wait until April, of course, because it has traditionally been one of my best running months, and of course, it will be the first anniversary of my graduation from the University of Michigan. I feel that it will be a new beginning professionally and for me as an athlete. March will just be a month where I still chatter my teeth at the mere mention of snow.