As a teenager, I was on the cross country team. That meant I was supposed to start training in the summer so I'd be in shape in time for fall. That was the theory. With young muscles and the naivety that went with my adolescence, I skipped the hot summer running and was able to get by on a bit of talent rather than any kind of training.
That just doesn't seem to work anymore. Unlike in high school, I ran this summer. I plugged away at running miles on the road and off. I signed myself up for the Dunkin Donuts Cape Cod Marathon at the end of October thinking that getting the last few weeks of training in the fall would be much easier than in the heat of summer. As it turns out, even after a decade and a half, I still lack motivation. With only an hour of lightness available to me after I get out of work combined with cooler temperatures, rain and snow, a new television season and a comfy couch, getting out on the road has been difficult. After being sick all of last week, I got no running in and so it left me with still one last long run to get in before I could taper.
This taper couldn't come at a better time. My body craves rest. I also crave chicken pot pie, candy corn and apple cider. I want all things fall. I love fall. Crisp air, a rainbow of foliage on the mountain sides, and the smell. Maybe the last long run wouldn't be so bad.
Sure enough, once I got my butt off the couch and my stinky shoes hit the pavement, I came alive. The occasional car passed me, but mostly it was me and autumn. Having complained about the hills all summer long, they began to reward me with beautiful views and stronger muscles.
The chill in the air allowed me to go faster than I had all summer long in the heat and humidity. I tried catching leaves that fell above me for good luck. I took in the sounds and smells of running through colorful leaves.
So it happened on a beautiful fall day, the lovely Ausable River Valley helped me get my running mojo back!