My favorite season is autumn, and one of the things I miss most about Virginia is the beautiful fall days with brilliant, fiery colors and cool air that just verges on actually being cold. Those are the days that made trail running even more enjoyable. I can close my eyes and see the reds, yellows, oranges, browns, greens, and blues of the trees, underbrush, and sky all around me. I can smell the sweet musty aroma of the fallen leaves, and I can hear the crackle, crunch, rustle of my feet treading through those leaves covering the trail.
It’s not quite the same in Mississippi.
But this past Sunday was almost in that league.
Fall comes later to the Deep South, and, because most trees down here are not deciduous, the colors are not quite as varied and all encompassing. However, the dark green of the magnolia mixing with the peeling silvery bark and rusty yellow leaves of the river birch is darn pretty in its own right.
Sunday morning, the sky was a bright, cloudless blue—finally completely clear of the summer’s hazy heat and humidity. When I started my run, it was 50ish degrees out, warming up to the low 60s. I headed from the Yacht Club down along the reservoir. The wind was calm; the water reflected the blue of the sky, despite all the recent rain (which would normally turn it a muddy brown).
Then, I hit the multi-use trail and was surrounded by green and gold with a slanting sunlight that highlighted the spider webs hanging delicately in the trees. I took a deep breath. It smelled clean, slightly damp, with a hint of spice.
This is nice, I thought to myself.
Two hours and thirty minutes later and 15 miles done, it was all good. I smiled to myself the rest of the day. **************************
On Saturday, the local bike shop and the local running store hosted a sprint duathlon. I had talked Hubby into doing it as a relay team. So, he was riding the 22k, and I was running the first leg 5k and the final leg 1 mile.
Hubby always has the best of intentions when it comes to riding his bike. Unfortunately, intentions do not always translate into actualities. I think he managed to ride three times before the race. Twice by himself (with one ride of 15 minutes…not sure that counts), and once with me and a couple of friends.
(Side note, if you tell Hubby that a ride is going to be 12 miles, it best be 12 miles. You will get an earful and a bit of grumpiness once that odometer clicks over to 12.1 miles. I am not kidding or exaggerating.)
I held off on registering for the race as long as I could just to give him the opportunity to bail. Nope, he told me. “I’m going to do it. It might not be fast, but I will race.”
As they say down here, “God bless his pea-pickin’ little heart.”
So, there we were on Saturday morning, surrounded by friends, getting transition all set for the race. A bit after 8 a.m., I line up with the runners, someone says “go,” and we’re off. Uphill. ( Whose brilliant idea was that? ) I wanted to run that first leg in the 26-minute range, but ended up crossing into T1 in 27:04. Actually, that’s my best 5k time for the year, so I can’t complain.
We made quick work of the relay hand off, and Hubby headed out for a 13+ mile ride through the rolling, “country” roads of Ridgeland. I had no idea what to expect for time. I figured he could be back at transition anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Unfortunately, I was so worried about missing him, that I ended up standing around too much and was not really ready to run again when he came rolling in right around 50 minutes. ( I did, however, have time to walk to our car, get my new Garmin, play with it, and sip my coffee. )
Another quick transition, and I was off for the last mile. I felt like I was running fast. Not so much—I crossed the finish line in 9 minutes. What’s up with that?
Our total time was 1:28 and change, which put us in fourth place with all the relays. So, not bad given that they did not break the relay teams out (usually, relay teams are broken out by all male, all female, and mixed).
Plus. It was fun to do a race with Hubby. And he said he would do it again. **************************
Vacation starts in 3 more days. Can’t. Wait. **************************
I am older than Monday Night Football. Very depressing. **************************
I just got a new Garmin. I finally broke down and purchased a full-on GPS fancy, shmanzy, way more information than I really want to know “training device.” I am a cheapskate, so I went for the very functional, but relatively inexpensive Forerunner 301.
I love it.
I used it for my Sunday run, and it worked perfectly. I was so worried it would short-change me on distance because of the tree cover on the trail, but it clicked over the miles (marked on the trail) exactly.
Another reason I went with the 301 was the shape. The Forerunner 305 and 310xt are just too bulky for my unnaturally small wrists ( you know those jelly bands? the kid sizes? still too big for me ). But, because the 301 is “sideways” and the band is totally-adjustable Velcro, it is slim enough and comfortable enough to make me happy and not feel too geeked out with a computer on my arm.
The only thing that is disconcerting is not having the watch function for the time of day. I completely lost track of time on my run on Sunday. I forgot what time I started, so even though I knew how long I had been out, I didn’t know how late it was until I got back in my car to go home.
Oh well. Small price to pay for such a fun toy. **************************
The achy, breaky foot behaved for both the race and my long run this weekend. Phew. I am shuffling my workouts around this week, though, so I can take a few days off from running. Maybe that will help the mending process. **************************
Good luck to all our friends heading to Wilmington, North Carolina, for the Beach to Battleship Iron and Half Iron races and to Panama City Beach, Florida, for Ironman Florida (where we’ll be) this weekend!
also like autumn because the weather is great and you could go anywhere you want because outdoor is great during autumn. I also had my first child during autumn so that is one of the contributing factor. I think we've all heard people joke that a person should be qualified before they're allowed to have children, and this nut job
Joshua Tabor personifies the argument for that – the guy in the "father waterboards daughter" story. Waterboarding is unequivocally torture; there really isn't any debate over that. When it comes to the enemy, that is one thing, although information extracted with torture isn't entirely reliable, but waterboarding a 4 year old for not saying the alphabet? This guy is going to need some payday loans at least to afford a good lawyer.