Saturday, May 2, 2015

Ready, set, GO!

Waiting for the race to start in 2012...throwing beach balls around
This morning when the gun went off to signal the start of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini Marathon in downtown Indianapolis runners hit the pavement. It's been a cold April around here. It's only just started to warm up in the last few days.

It's hard to believe that it was three years ago today that I ran the same 13.1 miles and my friend Carilynn came up from Kentucky to run it with me. It had been a warm winter and we had no idea about the drought Indiana was about to experience. It hadn't been humid, though, until about three days before the race and I definitely wasn't prepared to feel like I was swimming 13.1 miles. The nerves at the start line were something. Mile 6 of the race brings runners to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway track for 2.5 miles. It is HOT on the track! I'd heard that, but never believed it until I was running on it. The humidity slowed me down a lot, but I was really happy that I finished, and today I still have my medal on my bookcase. Running that distance is most certainly an accomplishment.

Runners finish the race with chocolate milk to help their bodies recover. Chocolate milk? Won't Gatorade do the trick? Well, not exactly. Chocolate milk has the perfect ratio of carbohydrates to protein to help refuel tired muscles...and it tastes great. There wasn't chocolate milk at the finish line of a 5k I ran in Wisconsin a few years ago and I was disappointed. So, I went to the store and bought some. Problem solved.

Exhausted? Maybe a little... (Mini Marathon Finish Line 2012)
The phrase "Ready, set, GO!" has a different meaning for farmers right now. The weather is finally breaking and giving them a chance to get out in the fields and plant, and they are going for it (atleast a lot of farmers I know). They've been doing what they can the last few weeks to apply nitrogen for the corn, spread manure (valuable nutrients for the soil) and working ground.

When the weather finally breaks and farmers can get out into the fields, they have a lot of work to do and are bound and determined to get it done. This can mean a lot of long days and short nights. If you are dating said farmer or married to him, you probably won't see him much unless you are in the tractor with him. If you ask me, that sounds like the best date. Pack some food and he will be even happier.

Farmers have also been waiting for the soil temperature to warm up. You can technically put seed in the ground when the soil temperature is 40 degrees, but you may not have the best luck. It still amazes me how much goes into planting crops.  There's so much to consider and a lot of it involves the weather and that is something you have absolutely no control over.

Farmers in the fields means you will likely encounter farm equipment on the roads. I know I've come across quite a few tractors and other pieces of large equipment on back country roads in central and northern Indiana these past few weeks.

The best thing you can do is pull over as far as you can and slow down. My brother always tells me that when cars pass him on the main highway by our farm they generally don't wave...they use another finger instead. This isn't helpful...for anyone. It just irritates people, so please don't do that. Is it really worth it anyways?

Farmers have a lot of work to do and there never seems to be enough hours in the day to get everything done. Planting season signals hope of a new start and the potential this new crop may bring. It's a busy season, but it's also a good one for farmers.

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