Saturday, October 25, 2014
This is the time of year when I most love running! Even though I know what is around the corner for us, I love running in the fall. At least here in the midwest, the weather this time of year is perfect for running. The temperatures average in the 60s and the sun is out most of the time. The foliage becomes more colorful, changing from green to brilliant hues of orange, yellow, and red. The leaves fall onto the roads and the path, and I like to hear that crunching sound under my feet. When it does rain, it's pretty raw and ugly, though and is a taste of what's to come. Just to remind us not to take this beautiful weather for granted.
Today I decided to take a different path than I usually do and I was rewarded by some amazing views. I don't know why I don't go this way more often. Maybe because it is 3 miles from my home and I have to run through an industrial park, past a few car dealerships, and cross several very busy streets to get to where I want to go. Such is life in the suburbs...these beautiful paths are truly a reward and an oasis in a very cluttered, ugly place.
The path I ran on today is a 2 part path through a preserve. The path is about 3 miles total and is limestone. What a treat it was to run on a soft surface! There were a few walkers and runners along the way. But I went early and so I mostly had the path to myself.
On the way back, I ran up a big hill--we don't have a lot of them here--in one of our parks. The hill used to be a landfill but is now a park and a golf course. Repurposing, I guess. Anyways, Walter Payton, the former Chicago Bears running back used to train on this hill, and is now informally known as Payton's Hill. And now I know why I don't run there. That hill is killer! But I know where to go to do hill repeats...
And who is more inspirational than Walter Payton? A good guy on and off the field, his nickname was Sweetness. I can run that! Maybe if I train there, I can fly too!
One of the other reasons I love fall running is because my legs are still strong from my summer training. This time of year, I can usually pull out a few good long, moderately paced runs. The runs feel easy to me, and that is another reward. I started out with a plan to do 6, maybe 8 miles today. But I felt so good, I ended up just shy of 10. I didn't expect this so soon after my marathon. But I'll take it!
Spring might be our reward for suffering through winter, but there is nothing like a long run on a beautiful fall day.
What's your favorite time of year?