6 Nov

I have always loved the summer.  I love sun.  I love heat.  I love lounging outside, feeling my skin get hotter and hotter til it’s so hot I have to hose myself down, then start all over again.  I love laying in a hammock reading a book.  I love the smell of suntan lotion and sunscreen.  I love campfires that last all night.  I love the beach, I love sundresses, I love outdoor concerts.  I love flip flops. 


But I hate running in the heat.  Since I’ve started running, I find myself loving all of the same things I used to love.  But running when it’s hot and humid is the pits.


So it’s time to make a confession.  I love the fall.  I still love the summer.  But this time of year is really perfect for running.  And I find myself falling a little more in love with this time of year every year that I run.  I feel kind of bad.  Sorry, summer.  I still love you.  It’s just that fall also compliments me so well.  It’s hard not to love it.


Tonight we ran at Durand.  It’s one of my favorite places to run–the trails are gorgeous and wind along the edge of all of these amazing little “lakes” (aside:  I don’t know who named them lakes–they’re ponds at best.)  They say when you take away one sense, the other ones are all heightened.  I didn’t have any senses eliminated tonight, but it’s not always easy to see well in the dark on the trails, even when you have a kick-ass new headlamp.  Tonight, I found myself noticing the little things.  The leaves crunching under my feet, the spots where the trail was a little soft from the recent rain we’ve had, the times when I landed on a root on accident (and realized how much stronger my ankles are now, after so much trail running–I used to have to stop when I rolled an ankle–now I keep running).  The sounds of animals rustling around just off the trail, running away from our group, jumping into the lakes to swim, all of the happy conversations among friends, new and old.  The smell of pine tonight was amazing–there were 2 times when I felt like I was sniffing a candle it was that strong. 


Everything about this run was just amazingly perfect for me.    The past couple of weeks have been kind of rough for me emotionally.  Through it all, my only real moments of peace have been when I’ve been out running.  Run some miles, either alone or with friends.  Have a drink in the parking lot afterwards.  Enjoy the fresh air.  Spend time with people who make you laugh til your sides hurt and realize you are, at least in that moment, right where you should be.  When you are looking at your life with uncertainty, trying to determine where you are, where you are going, where you fit in…finding a niche is reassuring.  Running is reassuring.  I may not be able to do other things right now, but I can still run.  And it might not be fast, it might not always be pretty.  But running is always there for me.  If I want it, if I need it, there it is.  Thank God the weather is cool and runner-friendly.  Fall!  Hooray!


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