5 Lesser Appreciated Signs of Spring

fri5Here in Northeast Ohio the snow is finally melting. Woohoo! My kids and I note how much more grass we see each day. And the best part is that melting snow happens when warmer temperatures and sunshine arrive! After this winter of many many record lows, we deserve it. Come on spring!

When asked what our favorite signs of spring are, our minds might instantly jump to thoughts of opening the sunroof on the first 50+ degree afternoon to blare the latest Bruno Mars smash. (What?) Or perhaps we might  picture that long-awaited vitamin D infusion that happens as we emerge from our basement treadmill lairs to squint mole-like into the sun. While these are obvious, there are some lesser appreciated signs of spring that I’d like to discuss today.

1. Everything is wet. All the time. You might think you want to take a little shortcut through some grass at some point on the run. “Just gonna cross over this little strip of grass,” you think to yourself and BAM! Ankle deep in muddy sludge. Pro tip: skip those pretty, brand-new shoes this time of year.

2. Did I say wet? Oh how cute. What I meant to say was every good place to run is muddier than a monster truck rally. You want to look like you were mud-wrestling but can’t find someone to mud wrestle? Hit some trails this time of year. Pro tip: Forget the emergency towel in your trunk and pack a tarp.

Anyone spare a kayak? Flickr Commons image by Patrick Feller
Anyone spare a kayak? Flickr Commons image by Patrick Feller

3. Did I say muddy? Oh, silly me! I meant all the best routes are flooded and impassible. This is the time of year our favorite riverside running routes end up part of the river. Just when you thought you couldn’t possibly run on the same boring roads and … Nooooo! …… don’t say it … Not … the … gasp! … TREADMILL again … NOOOOOOO! Pro tip: If your route is closed due to flooding, crawl back to your basement treadmill and ask forgiveness for all those mean things you said about it last week.

4. Dog poop abounds. Running on your favorite path after the thaw? Better hope you have a laser-like ability to spot dog crap.  Dog owners apparently get a pass from cleaning up when there’s snow on the path. Who knew? Pro tip: if you have a dog and take it to the park, pick its sh*t up. ALL. YEAR.

5. Holy pasty whiteness! For those of you in the presence of pale people like me, don’t forget your shades. These legs that haven’t seen the light of day since … hmm?… when was it? … October? … Hell, I don’t know. A long-ass time ago! … are scary white. Pro tip: scary white is preferable to scary orange so pale people, pass on the impulse to apply self-tanner.

What are your favorite lesser appreciated signs of spring?

Salty Running boss and mother of 3 little ones with PRs of 3:10:15 (26.2), 1:25:59 (13.1) and 18:15 (5k). I love to write about running culture, mental training, and fitting in a serious running habit with the rest of a busy life.

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  1. Garbage goodies! I like looking into the ditches to see if I spot any good/interesting garbage. This time of the year there is A LOT to look at on the country roads. Haven’t scored anything yet this year, but a couple years ago I found a hand gun. I started running home with it (carefully, and pointed away from me) to show my hunter-husband. After a car passed me, I realized how conspicuous I must have looked so I took off my shirt and wrapped it up. It turned out to be a fake, but for a while I thought I may have found a murder weapon. You never know what you might find after the snow melts….

  2. Does anyone else have legs that complain the first week or two about rapidly increasing the mix of road running overt treadmill running? I have been so annoyed about my legs complaining about transitioning from running about two of eight runs per week on the road to six of eight runs on the road. This too shall pass.