That was the simple thought that entered my mind on Tuesday as I stepped out into the early morning. I could see my breath. It was in the low 40’s, which was much colder than I was expecting. If that weren’t enough to make me want to sprint back inside, kick off my Asics and jump into my warm bed, there was also the fact that the sun had barely risen.
Summer is clearly over, I thought. Sure, the afternoon would bring sunshine and much warmer temperatures, but as far my running routine was concerned autumn was here in full force. And I was none too happy about it.
Unfortunately, it’s only going to get worse. The morning temps will continue to drop and the hours of daylight will dwindle. Before I know it, I’ll be wearing tights, gloves, and brightly colored tops on a regular basis. Eventually winter will arrive. My lungs will labor more as they breathe in the frosty air and my snot will begin to freeze.
I realize my position is not universal as there are plenty of people who prefer non-summer running. One of these people is my lovely wife. She likes the brisk air, the lack of humidity, and the snow crunching under her feet. I think this is crazy. Though, to be fair, this is only one of many opinions my wife holds that I have deemed ‘crazy.’
As a runner, this summer was particularly enjoyable, which is probably one of the reasons I’m having such a hard time letting it go. In addition to the usual joys of summer running, my journey to the east coast allowed me to run the National Mall and Central Park. I also participated in a whole bunch of races and even completed my first (and last) running streak.
What can I say? I will truly miss the summer.
I will miss the sun and the heat.
I will miss the long days and warm mornings.
I will miss the assumed sunshine and dryness. Back to checking forecasts and desperately hoping to avoid rain on my weekend runs.
I will miss the shorts, tank tops and lightweight apparel that are slowly being replaced with compression gear, gloves, and thermal attire.
I will miss being able to hang my wet, malodorous running clothing outdoors to dry.
I will miss the ease with which I could schedule my runs. Shorter days and football games have severely hampered that process.
I will miss enjoyable runs after work, as these excursions will lack the aforementioned heat and daylight I so love.
I will miss the leisurely untimed jogs that have been replaced with longer, more strenuous half marathon training runs.
But alas, I must reluctantly move forward. October arrives next week and I’ll do my best to get through the cold, damp unforgiving days, mostly by finding enjoyment in fall foliage and pumpkin spiced beers. I will keep up my regular running routine so that I may record a respectable time at the upcoming Columbia Gorge Half Marathon and keep my weight at a level that allows me to rationalize a glutinous eating spree during the holiday season.
Summer running is over and gone. But I will try to stay positive by reminding myself that the official arrival of spring is a mere six months way.
I’m already counting down the days.