Spring Training

One of the great perks of being an educator is Spring Break.  And one of the great perks of living in Phoenix is that it is a great place to be for Spring Break.  Spring in the desert is beautiful.  The sky is the perfect shade of cloudless blue and the weather is unbelievably nice.  The desert comes alive quickly in the spring.  There are no April shower to bring May flowers.  We just hit at few nice warm days and the plants are in full bloom.  When I lived in Indiana, fall was my favorite season, but here there is no contest- it is spring all the way.  (Fall doesn’t even come close here.  The temperatures are over 100 well into the beginning of October.  It is so warm at Halloween that you have to plan your costume around it- fairies and hula girls.  The year our daughter dressed as a snow leopard I thought she would collapse from heat exhaustion.)  It was so nice this weekend that my kids even hit the pool.  (It was too cold for me, the pool water is only 70 degrees, but you know how kids are.)  It was 90 out and they were dying to put on their suits and try.  Then dipping their toes turned to splashing and the next thing you know they were swimming around.

And that’s not all.  We are the home to spring training for baseball’s Cactus League, which means we have 15 professional baseball teams playing games all spring.  The sun is shining, the stadiums are beautiful and the tickets are inexpensive.  It is a chance to get up close and personal with players, whether it’s catching balls in the lawn or catching a signature from your favorite player.  Truth be told, I’m no diehard baseball fan, but with two teams playing 5 minutes from my house, it’s hard not to get caught up in the fun.  It helps too that one of those teams is a family favorite and each year my family comes out to visit and enjoy a few spring training games.  This year, schedules were a bit tight, so only my mom and sister made it out for the week.  Small in numbers yet they did not disappoint; it was a week of fun.

All that being said, I’ve had a lot of distractions over the past few weeks.  I not only was family in town but I also had a visit from my best friend, we had my sister’s birthday to celebrate, a backyard to get spring ready and wonderful weather to enjoy.  My running has suffered for it.  So, while spring training is in full swing for baseball, my running spring training… not so much.  I know it sounds like perfect running weather, and it is.  But with all the fun a frivolity, I haven’t been hitting the road like I should.  So this week I resolve to get back to it.

Unfortunately, while I was off enjoying spring, the great switch occurred.  We have crossed over from afternoon runs to morning runs.  It has become so warm after work that I use it as an excuse not to run.  Therefore it is time to start my day with running again.  Actually, I love running in the morning.  (Yep, I am one of those annoying morning people who wakes up singing.)  Even so, every year the switch is a little difficult.  Usually, the first time I set my alarm before 5 to get up to run, it is a fail.  I just reset the alarm to my normal time and then go back to sleep.  The second day is often better, and I am usually on track by the third.  The real challenge lies in going to bed early enough, which means giving up a part of my own personal happy hour.  Happy hour for me is the hour(s) between when my kids go to be and when I go to bed.  I can watch whatever I want on tv and there is often a glass (or two) of wine involved.  It’s always a little sad to see it go.  But training calls and I see an early morning rendezvous with the road in my future.

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