The summer is season is coming to a close, school is about to begin, and for many people, those events evoke sadness.
For runners, however, especially here in the northeast, the next eight weeks may be the most enjoyable of the entire year.
Here are eight reasons why.
1. Weather-Mornings are pleasantly cool. Oppressive humidity seems to vanish, and even warm afternoons are tolerable. Rain is refreshing, not icy, and breezes are mild. Overall, weather conditions can be near perfect for running.
2. Scenery-Mother Nature provides the canvas for a magnificent mural, as leaves change colors and fall foliage explodes around us.
3. Races-Not having to worry about snow, ice, or tropical heat, race directors love to schedule fall events. Runners face difficult decisions as they decide exactly which race they choose to attend.
4. Going Long-Many runners are preparing for marathons or half marathons, scheduled during the months of October and November. Thanks to pleasant weather conditions, this is the perfect time of year to crank out big miles, in the form of long training runs.
5. Cross Country-It's great to see groups of young people taking over the roads, participating in the sport we love. By doing so, they're setting themselves up for a terrific, positive lifetime addiction. Forget about being Number One. The fifth person on the cross country team is as important as the top runner. And success is measured be personal improvement. Make it a point to go to a cross country race and cheer on the runners. We all love to have our running efforts validated.
6. Seeing the Light-Squeeze out the extra hours of light, as the earth makes its trip around the sun. The time change occurs in early November, plunging us back into darkness.
7. Cashing In-If you maintained your fitness level throughout the summer, and you turn in some killer fall workouts, you'll be able to cash in by running some good races during the next eight weeks. Select two or three race distances and concentrate on them. Your odds of having perfect race conditions, combined with your fined tuned training, will certainly pay off.
8. Pending Doom-Too bad we can't take the next eight weeks and project them into the spring months. In between, there's going to be icy...snowy...Ugh, I can't say it. Well, you know what I mean. Enjoy the next eight weeks or so, because many of the weeks after that will not be so enjoyable.