Running smack into autumn

Autumn has arrived, overnight and with a vengence. We’ve had rain seven out of the last eight days. We’ve had high winds. We’ve had a thunderstorm (highly unusual in this part of the world). And the mountains have had their first snow.

It was just a dusting the other day, but the forecast calls for 4-8 inches, down to 3000 feet, over the next couple of days. It looks like those long high-altitude hikes that I’d planned will have to wait until next summer. The lower trails should still be good for several more weeks before winter really sets in, and I do hope to get out there before ALL the leaves are down.

But I’m still feeling tired and a little sore after the Victoria half marathon. I’ve realized that two half marathons in two weeks is a REALLY big deal for a middle-aged body, and that I’m going to need some time to fully recover. I’m not injured… just tired and sore. The setting-in of autumn is the perfect time to slow down and rest a bit.

I went out to run the other day for the first time since Victoria. Right out of the parking lot I ran smack into autumn! Leaves were down on the trail, a couple of inches thick in some places. Running through the wet, slippery leaves forced me to slow down and alter my stride. My short, choppy steps weren’t feeling fluid or graceful at all, and I quickly realized that I wasn’t having much fun running. Therefore I prudently decided to stop and take some photos instead. I think I made a good choice!

I know that the fire in my belly for running will return. Meanwhile, I’m thinking about another long, slow bike ride or a hike in low country to enjoy the last of the autumn leaves. Something easy on the knees and soothing for the mind.

At this moment, however, until I’m fully in sync with the change of seasons, I’m happy to let the autumn winds swirl around outside while I put my feet up and read a book.

How about you? Has autumn arrived in your part of the world? When it does, do you find yourself needing to pause and hit the “reset” button?

Posted on October 19, 2012, in Nature, Running and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. The leaves are still on the trees here in central Texas, and we’ve got plenty of wildflowers as well.

  2. It was past the high time for fall color in Aspen, but lovely anyway. It snowed on Friday, leaving a dusting on the mountains but melting immediately in town. I took my bike, but lack of practice and 8K feet elevation made me happy to make a 5 mi. ride along the Roaring Fork River.

    • Colleen, I don’t think I’d do well at 8000 feet, whether running or biking. I salute you for trying! As for weather — it’s 44 and hailing here right now, which started mere minutes after I got home from walking 1.2 miles back from downtown. It’s certainly not summer anymore!

  3. The photos are really beautiful. I’m in awe of snow already! We have a hint of autumn, but I’m not ready to trust that it’s here quite yet. We still had triple digit heat on Wednesday, but a very light rain today may have triggered a complete change. We’ll have to see. I am quite confident your running schedule will return soon. I’ll look forward to more photos along the way! 🙂

    • Debra, it was 34 here this morning. I still keep an eye on the weather in Southern California and I marvel at the differences especially this time of year. In our more northern latitude it seems that the seasons do change suddenly!

      I just bought new boots and a VERY warm jacket because I expect to be outside running/hiking/biking much more this year than in the past… even though I have to admit that my California-bred instinct is to stay inside when it gets cold. We’ll see how I fare this winter!

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