It felt like ages.
My legs looked it, too. Despite my love for the outdoors, I have pale skin, the kind worn by couch potatoes who squint at 10 a.m. and prefer to play Dungeons and Dragons in dank, dark, basements and other settings worthy of dungeons (and, apparently, dragons).
My skin gets copious amounts of Vitamin D every year and millions of minutes of sunshine, yet by the end of the summer, I still only have as much color as a 1982 newspaper.
Sure enough, my legs looked more like an X-ray than actual flesh.
It had been a long, cold winter, and I had worn tights since early October.
One thing runners have always loved about the sport is its simplicity. In that sense it's the complete opposite of mountain climbing. It used to take me hours, if not days, to pack for a trip, even if I was only planning to climb for a few hours. You need to pack food, water, energy gels, sunscreen, emergency equipment, extra clothing, shoelaces, a hat, gloves, a trash bag and...do you really want me to go on?
But the winter makes you plan your runs, too. When I'd run, I'd have to slip on tights, put on running crampons, a hat, gloves, wear two or three layers, a jacket, a face protector and...do you really want me to go on? By last Saturday I was so sick of dressing for 15 minutes just to go for a damn run that I grumbled to my wife, "It feels like I'm going mountain climbing."
Ah, but Wednesday came, and with it the threat of a day over 55 degrees. I paused before throwing in just a pair of shorts and a shirt for my intervals track workout later that afternoon. It felt so LIGHT.
When I did throw on my shorts and my shirt, it did feel light. And I began my run around the track. My legs almost stung from the bright sunlight. I actually sweated in my minimal clothing. I needed a lot of water when I was done.
It was warm. It was almost like spring. And it was wonderful.