1. Being able to run outside again after work, walk the dog, and still have time to chase squirrels all before the sun goes down. During the 'winter' months (I rarely refer to Atlanta weather as real winter), I ran most of my weekday runs indoors. That's right, 11 mile tempo run? On the treadmill. 9 miles of speed work? On the treadmill. It's not that I am afraid of the dark (snakes, yes; dark , no), but I don't trust the Atlanta drivers and I don't want to be hit by a car. Additionally, the Atlanta sidewalks are notoriously shabby (odd for a city that is a world leader in public health) and twisting an ankle would have really been a bummer during marathon training.
My favorite squirrel chaser. I think this is her year.
2. Stretching in the sun. It's not so hot yet that I feel the need to scurry inside after a run and sprawl out on cold tile floors to reduce my body temperature (another few weeks until that fun). With the gentle spring breeze (see numero tres) and the cool nights, it's still pleasant enough to survive outdoors after a run. I've taken to stretching in the yard while the Monster patrols for invaders. The neighbors may think I'm bonkers as I flail about, but it's time they knew the truth.
4. The Garden. Great upper body workout. Ok, I'm no Martha Stewart and last year's garden produced only a meager crop after someone overwatered it while I was in Maine (hint: it wasn't the Monster), but I do try. Not only is it a great way to get outside, but it's a great workout. All that raking, digging, and hoeing (snort) is great for the upper body and core. We've had a family talk about not overloving the garden, and I am hopeful for a bountiful harvest.
5. All the flowers. Allergies be damned, it makes for some beautiful scenery on my runs.