SPRING “Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!” ~Robin Williams The mercury in the thermometer has at last inched its way up to almost consistently stay above 32°, the snow on the boardwalk is a memory, the layer of ice on the lake has melted, and the smell of fresh dog crap fills the air at the local park.  All are signs that after a brutally cold winter, spring has just about made its long-awaited appearance.  Most importantly however, it means the start of race season has finally arrived and tri season is trailing close behind! The kick-off for me began with the DC Rock n’ Roll half marathon earlier this month.  The day began in a way that has become very familiar lately—and similar to the way the entire winter has been—cold and wet.  I woke up for this event with pretty low expectations since I have been nursing some sort of bilateral Achilles injury. But nonetheless, I showed up as the race was beginning, ready to run. With goose bumps pretty much head to toe, the first 6 miles were pretty uneventful. Realizing early on that this was not going to be a race that I was even going to attempt to PR at, I did not mind running well below race pace at what I would almost consider more of a brisk walk.  The race was over-crowded and, being the incredibly graceful person that I am, I found myself tripping over every person that got in my way…I’m sure I looked more like I wanted to tackle and take them out rather then just pass them. As I ran through Rock Creek Park somewhere around mile 6 or 7, I heard the all too familiar noise of full-out wheezing and respiratory distress.  I looked to my left and there was some dumbass trying to continue running during a full-blown asthma attack (can’t say I wouldn’t do the same thing).  I reached in my pocket looking for my inhaler to give her, but then realized she was already holding one.  So I do what every good medical professional would do, and I said to myself “Clearly she has this under control so I should definitely keep going.”  With that, my good-hearted friend stopped to help her.  Sabotage.  So I roll my eyes and stop too.  Now I know there is no hope for redemption.  We finally got her to a poor excuse for an ambulance and continued on our way through the least desirable parts of DC. The race finally drew to an anti-climactic end with me nearing hypothermic shock, smelling like wet dog and cursing the “asthma chick.”  I managed to still keep my time under 2 hours, but nowhere near my best effort.  Damn “asthma chick.”  As I shivered the entire way home on the Metro, all I could think was “F***!  It’s St. Patty’s day weekend and it is still freezing…”   Now mid-March, I know that warmer weather is right around the corner.  Although the kick-off to race season was a bit nippily, warmer weather is around the corner… I even saw tulips breaking through the grass the other day.  Time to get out of the pool and into the open water, ditch the trainer for the road, and shed the layers of winter clothes—tri season is a month away!