I went for a beautiful 5.2 mile run this morning. For various reasons, most of them probably no more than lame excuses, I had not run for more than a month. No time. Sick. Raining, cold weather. Snow. I know that physically I go through a very real transition from summer to fall. For a couple of weeks when temperatures get below freezing overnight, and especially if clouds dominate the day, the thought of going outside and subjecting myself to physical exertion seems, well...unthinkable. But this is much better than the state I was in a couple of years ago, where the thought of any physical exertion any time of year was, well...unthinkable. Can I tell you all of the wonderful things running has done for me?
My usual route goes from my driveway north on our road a half mile, then taking a right turn down a dead end road that continues a little over two miles east, then coming back. It's a gorgeous route any time of year, fairly level and covering mixed woods, wetlands, and open fields, with Sand Creek and a tributary along much of the way. But today my view was accented by the gold of tamaracks, which are in their full fall glory. One stretch of road has a dense tamarack forest on either side, and yesterday's wind had brought down a carpet of golden needles on the road.
The above photo is the view out my back door. Glorious! But back to my run...I was worried about the effects of not having run for a few weeks. But my legs just flew on their own, it seemed so effortless. So effortless, in fact, that on the way back I took my pulse and decided I must be getting too good at running at a snail's pace, I was barely in "the zone". I increased my pace off and on for the remainder of the run, pushing myself towards breathless. I returned home exhilarated.
The blue sky is fleeting. We are looking at more rain starting tonight. The tamarack gold will probably not last much longer, just as the birch, aspen, and even some of the oak leaves have quietly released to the forest floor. The nights are getting longer and darker, and a rocking chair and a wool blanket near the wood stove are looking better all the time.