Fall is in full swing and there’s plenty to be energized about these days, especially if you’re a runner. Here are five running-related things elevating my excitement levels this autumn. Please share yours in the comments section below.
1. Cool weather. After an extended summer here in San Diego, fall weather — or something remotely resembling it — has finally arrived. Crisp mornings in the low-50s have made for pleasant running conditions of late. As a native East coaster, the cooler conditions also often provide me a good laugh before 7 AM. In southern California it’s not uncommon to see runners wearing full-length tights, winter hats and gloves when the mercury slips a few degrees south of 60. Even funnier is when runners retreat to treadmills because it’s “cold” outside.
2. I did a track workout yesterday. In a former life I used to do track workouts at least once a week, sometimes twice, but yesterday’s session was my first one since, oh, early March. I put on my racing flats for the first time in forever totaled of 1,600 meters worth of faster running. Yes, almost an entire mile! I did eight 200m repeats with a 200m jog recovery at a pace I used to run for 5,000 meters without stopping. God did it feel good to go “fast” again, and boy did it suck at the same time — or today, rather. My hip flexors, hamstrings and calves are all feeling the effects of yesterday’s foolishness, and nothing in recent memory has felt better. Know the feeling?
3. The New York City Marathon is right around the corner, as in a week from Sunday. It’s the Super Bowl weekend of distance running and I’m beyond stoked to have an all-access pass to cover all the action for the third year in a row. Adding to the excitement of being in the Big Apple for what is literally the biggest event in running, my fiance will running her first New York, as will one of my best friends. Meb Keflezighi, the 2009 champion is lining up for the eighth time alongside a whole host of other fast folks, not to mention 40,000+ runners from all over the world. It’s a running dork’s dream weekend — and it’s going to be on TV! Be sure to watch it live on ESPN. And stay tuned to competitor.com for on-the-ground updates throughout the weekend, including video. Get excited! Be a fan. Support the sport.
4. It’s pumpkin season. What does this have to do with running? Well, nothing and everything at the same time. I can’t think of a better way to refuel from a long run than with a few handfuls of candy pumpkins. OK, maybe the Pumpkin Smash smoothie from Jamba Juice is a better choice. Or listening to an old Smashing Pumpkins CD on the way home from the run. OK, now I’m just getting off topic. On to #4.
5. New running shoes! For shoe guys such as myself, the holiday season comes four times a year, which happens to coincide with the number of times we review running shoes at Competitor magazine during the 12-month span from January through December. As I type these words, I’m waiting like a good little boy for a box of Spring 2013 running shoe releases to run in and review over the next couple of months. I’m excited to run in the latest offerings from some of your favorite brands as well as others you’ve never heard of and share information about each of them with you. Stay tuned to the shoes & gear section of competitor.com for sneak peeks, reviews and video in the coming months.