Thursday, October 20, 2011

stompin' in jack-o-lantern's weather

It took until the 20th of October to get here, but I finally ran what felt like a real autumn run this morning. Like, cold enough to start with gloves and a long-sleeved technical shirt zipped up to my chin. Brisk enough to have goosebumps and shiver a bit for the first couple miles. Windy enough to turn my shirt into a handkerchief (don't cringe- you know you wipe your nose on your sleeve and I won't believe you if you deny it).

I love it!

Of course, I chuckle a little when I see myself decked out for a run when it's 45° because at the same temperature, had I never moved from New York down south, I'd still be in shorts and a t-shirt. I remember celebrating "warm fronts" in the winter time that would take us up out of the single digits and into the 20's. But whatever, I'm getting out there and I'll continue to do so. One thing I didn't do often enough last winter was run outdoors. Without a fall or winter race to train for I didn't care about running more than 5 miles at a time, which, at 40 minutes on the treadmill, is nothing. I was just trying to maintain my fitness and didn't need to prove anything by clocking miles on pavement.

This year, though, I am just loving getting out there. Trail, sidewalk, gravel or road, I don't care. In the woods, I can soak in the scenery and run for miles without noticing the passage of time or distance. On the street, I get the satisfaction of breezing by rush-hour traffic and feeling speedy as I race down the hill back into my neighborhood at the end of my route. Wherever I am, this weather pushes me to go as fast as my legs and my lungs will let me.

What's your favorite fall run?

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