Fall arrives here in just a little bit over a day now. The transition has been sudden—going from huddling around a homemade AC rig to pulling out flannel lined jeans. Ironically, this is one of my favorite times of the year to run. The feeling of cold droplets on a red face and something about the quality of the air makes it seem as if you can magically somehow feel even more alive than you did previously. There's also a sneaky secret to doing longer runs when the weather keeps others from venturing out: you see moments others don't. Like when the rain eases, and a cloud lets a beam of light illuminate the falling water, or when you jog through a tunnel of trees before all their leaves have shed, giving you brief and beautiful shelter until you burst out the other side back into the mist. It's not all clarifying moments and smiles, though. Among your atmospheric bragging rights, you get to "enjoy" the experience of snot gushing out of your face for the first mile, fogging up glasses so severely when you slow down that you may as well keep moving, and the pins and needles of cold red skin heating up almost painfully in the shower or tub.
I'm three runs in so far, and my pace seems glacial at the moment from nearly a month of not doing it. It's been too early in the process to relive those experiences, but it makes me smile knowing they're on the way.