Running Granny Green encourages women, especially grandmothers, to gain greater fitness by providing tips and inspiration to insure long years of joyful grandparenting.

The cookie recipes are a bonus!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Hard Run: A sneak peek

Here is another sneak peek from my next book, The Hard Run: Painful Lessons from a Running Granny.  This excerpt is taken from "The Rolling Hills Lesson."

Rural Running
My rural running routes present a lot of variety.  At first glance one might think I only have farmers’ fields to view while logging miles.  However, within a four mile grid I can encounter a number of crops, both low growing and taller than an elephant, paved roads and dirt ditch banks, winding canals and a rushing river, steep inclines and rolling hills, and livestock and wildlife including horses, pigs, egrets, snakes, blue herons, and the occasional white pelican.  I could go on about the draft horses, cattle, geese, and skunks, but that is a discussion for another time.  It is the hills that I wish to expound upon here. 
When I encounter a short steep hill, I remind myself that it will be difficult, but only for a short time.  Most often, a short steep uphill is followed by an immediate and equal downhill. This knowledge helps me tackle the challenge.  Not only do I know that the incline will not last for long, but that my lungs will be rewarded with a rest as I allow gravity to work in my favor on the approaching downhill length.  That short reprieve is often enough to strengthen my resolve to tackle the next rolling hill.  It is definitely helpful to my physical ability to take on another hill.

What did I learn from the Rolling Hills Lesson?
During times of adversity, it is important to observe the joyful moments for they will help us through our trials. If we look for them we can find those moments.
My home in the Treasure Valley of Southwest Idaho is a beautiful place.  We have some of the most colorful sunsets ever witnessed and they occur regularly.  Unfortunately, we have another phenomenon that also happens regularly.  Many winters the valley experiences a weather inversion. These inversions occur when cold air is trapped below warmer air.  They can last for weeks on end.  No matter how blue the skies or how warm the temperatures are above the inversion the cold air remains in the valley creating a smog-like atmosphere that the sun does not burn through.  For many, the weeks on end of cold gloomy weather wreak havoc on emotional health and even present physical challenges for those with respiratory concerns.  There are, however, some moments of reprieve if one takes notice. 
Hoar frost during a cold weather inversion.
Hoar frost is a heavy buildup of ice or frost crystals that seem to grow daily upon trees, shrubs, fences, and grass during a weather inversion.  Although this hoar frost is a result of adverse conditions in the atmosphere, it paints a beautiful white landscape.  The lack of air movement during the inversion allows these frost crystals to stay in place until they become so heavy they begin to fall to the ground in a mock snowstorm.
A change in the weather is the only hope of moving an inversion out of the valley.  Thus, the wind that is so often a springtime nemesis becomes a welcome guest.  Snow and rain in all their wetness and inconvenience are also gratefully received as they clear the air and promise blue skies upon their departure.
A drive upward and outward of the valley can give the sufferer hope as she reacquaints herself with sunshine and blue skies.  When viewing an inversion from above, it appears fluffy and bright white, inviting enough for the onlooker to imagine diving into a sea of fresh cloudy foam. Winter inversions are one reason I snow ski.
Do not suppose that a mournful heart and a downtrodden disposition is the only way to get through life’s trials.  Look for happiness and humor along the way. Those things will bring a reprieve from the physical and mental exertion and will help bring you through challenge.
Have you found joy or humor in a difficult situation?  I would love to hear about it.
You can pre-order The Hard Run: Painful Lessons from a Running Granny for a discount now in my Etsy shop.  It will be released in January 2015.
Happy Running!