Is it official? If it's not, let me be the first to jinx it. WINTER IS OVER! The high temperature predicted for today, March 19th, is 76 degrees. Students are wearing shorts, tank tops, and sandals, and we're all fighting the anticipation of summer that usually comes in May, not March. Track season has started and I'm coaching the sprinters and hurdlers once again. We have our second scrimmage today and are continuing to take advantage of the warm weather. It sure beats doing stair workouts in the stairwells of the high school because of 30 degree temperatures and snow on the ground. I mowed the lawn for the first time this weekend and Laura went to the mall to get Luke some shorts and short-sleeved shirts. As my dad would say, "This is Hilton Head weather." In case you're not familiar with the Erdeljacs, Hilton Head is the destination of our annual summer family vacation. Yes, we're kind of like the Griswald's. Every year we pack-up our cars and caravan to H.H.I. for a week.
Like all Pittsburgh Triathletes, I abondoned my bike trainer this weekend and took to the roads on Sunday. More about that in a minute. After a Saturday morning track practice and lunch with Luke, I got outside for an afternoon run of just over an hour and a half. No hat or gloves needed. It was actually hot! Porter accompanied me for the first 30 minutes, but was happy to take a spot on the kitchen floor, while I finished. It was good to train in some heat, but there's no doubt things felt a little more sore than usual. My body definitely needs to get used to the higher temperatures.
Despite sore legs, I took to the roads Sunday morning. After putting new tires on my Cervelo P3 and running through the checklist of essentials in my head, I was ready for my first ride outside since last fall. Traffic was light, and it felt good to use all my gears as I tackled the Pittsburgh terrain of hills and flats. I went on my normal 3 hour venture down to Oakmont and back via North Park. By the time I returned to North Park I had time for one lap around the lake (5 miles) before the 15 minute ride home. North Park was hoppin' with cyclists, joggers, and walkers. Everybody shaking off the cabin fever. I exchanged shout outs with Matt Crummy as I passed him. He was in the middle of a training run, and it reminded me of the triathlete community that is looking forward to the challenges and successes the upcoming season will bring.