This is my favorite time of year! Fall is here and I love it. This is the best time of year for running, in my humble opinion.
The cold temperatures are starting to creep in. The leaves will soon turn brilliant shades of red, orange and yellow. I love to watch the wind catch the leaves as they fall, twisting and turning in a graceful dance as they fall to the ground. Pumpkin pie, hot apple cider and the smell of burning leaves are very comforting to me. They remind me of my childhood in rural Lockport, Illinois.
I ran on the cross country team as child. The cooler temps make for fast, comfortable runs. The Taft grade school cross country team consisted of myself and the three Martin sisters. We loved to run on the hilly trails of Dellwood Park in the Fall. They are some of the best childhood memories I have. It is no coincidence that the New York City and Chicago marathons are run in the Fall. It makes for fast, world record potential racing. Long distance runs are best ran at 49-51 degrees.
Getting home after a long, fall run, I loved to drink a cup of hot chocolate, take a hot bath and bask in the knowledge of work well done. It gave me a feeling of satiation that other things did not.
Running for me was a family affair. My mom was an Ironman Triathlete, having competed in Kona three times (and 3 finishes 🙂 My dad was an avid runner. Tall and thin, he was built to run. In his younger days, he was fast. Now, he is happy to be able to go out and run a few miles. We used to run a turkey trot race very year through the gorgeous trails of Joliet, Illinois. It was a predictor race. Those who predicted their times the closest, were awarded a frozen turkey. There were years when we came home with an additional three turkeys. The camaraderie was amazing. Running gets inside your heart and doesn’t let go. Once you fall in love with running, you are there to stay.
Next time you want to go work out, consider throwing on a long sleeve t-shirt, pair of gloves and your running shoes. Then get outside in the fresh air and go for a run. It doesn’t have to be a long run. Sometimes it’s best not to even wear a watch. Just run. It is food for the soul.