I hear my blog needs some photos, and yesterday was such a photo op kind of running day! I played hooky for a couple of hours and drove out to my friend’s farm to take a 4.5 mile run, feed her dog while my friend is away, and, as a reward for it all, pick veggies, grapes and raspberries from her garden.
Here’s the beginning of my running route on this country road up on a ridge in beautiful Wisconsin bluff country.
And here’s some goldenrod, some of it already dying, that fleeting, late August flower that signals the end of the summer.
Running outdoors throughout the year really keeps me in touch with the seasons. Especially when I lived in the country, I came to notice all these gradations in the foliage and the slant of the sun. I love the awareness that there’s a kernel of fall even in the warm summer weather. Running on my trail near town, I see those first red leaves on trees, or dropped onto the path, sometime in August, and it always makes me smile. I love to welcome fall, even though it’s a crazy busy season. It’s a runner’s dream season, weather that’s cool, but not cold, glorious colors, and something changing in nature every week, probably more often than that if you’re really looking.
Fall also has a lot to recommend it for a half-marathon trainee who’s also a professor. Yes, I’m busier than ever with work, but last time I did a fall training like this, I found that there was some kind of homeopathic principle at work: like meets like; the incredible intensity of the week’s workload was somehow complimented by a long, intense, anxiety-draining, happily exhausting weekend run. Four and a half mile mid-week runs serve a similar purpose. And since yesterday was meeting-free, I flexed my work hours to achieve some of that intensity in a place far from my workaday responsibilities, taking an extra long “lunch hour.”
And when I got back, this was my reward:
After that, I felt really good the rest of the day.
Happy early September!