I love the fall foliage and the spectacular colors Mother Nature offers this time of year. The chill in the air is the perfect complement to a tough cardio workout. I feel that I run well in the fall when my body doesn’t work so hard to stay cool.
I flew to Denver for trip and ran where I could see the leaves turn and actually enjoyed the time change when it forced me to get out earlier. I didn’t go out for a speed workout, but instead loved the simpleness of the crisp air and shorter amount of daylight.
I simply partook in the magnificent fall colors and the crunching of the leaves under my feet. Here are a few things I tried during my trip to make my running more memorable:
I frolicked. I twirled. Instead of running in a straight line and charging ahead with my mileage, I decided to dance (kind of) through the leaves. I felt like a child again as I twirled my body in a circle as the leaves floated to the ground and I jumped into heaps of leaf piles. I haven’t done that since elementary school; I highly recommend it.
I stopped. Usually if I stop it’s because my shoe came untied or a side stitch makes it impossible to carry on; this time I stopped for no reason pertaining to injury. I stopped because I wanted to partake of the views. I watched the leaves float through the wind and hit the ground silently. The woodsy areas felt calm and peaceful as the leaves just fluttered around me.
I left my iPod in the hotel room. I am a full-on fan of music when I run. I completely understand that this makes me not a “purist” runner. I’ve heard numerous runners tell me at races that they can’t run with music; it makes it not nearly as valiant an effort. But I love my hip-hop and a banging beat when I run. This time I decided to join the ranks of the purists and ran with my own thoughts and silence of nature. It was a nice change of pace, I admit. (Though I am fully back with my iPod and Pandora.) I think I will do that sometimes now—run with complete solitude.
I made friends. Because I run with music, I usually just wave when a runner passes by, but this time I ran up to someone and carried on a conversation. I asked about good running routes, what races are like in Minneapolis, how to run in the cold winters and about the runners themselves. I appreciated the company and learned about running in a new city straight from runners and not from Internet searches.
I suggest trying out a fall run with a new perspective.