In praise of fall weekend long runs (and not making the perfect the enemy of the good)

Long runs can sometimes be tedious. They can be made better by running with friends, or by running in beautiful scenery.

This weekend was all about the latter. Saturday morning was absolutely perfect — cool, with a bit of cloud cover right around dawn that made the bright leaves pop. The yellow oaks and scarlet maples are at their peak in southeastern PA right now. A normal street is transformed into a work of art.

My body cooperated too. As I go deeper into third trimester running, I take things day by day. If I feel good, I go farther. And on Saturday I felt good. So I ran for a little over an hour, taking a longer loop than I’d planned to run past a botanical garden not far from my house. I’m slow already, and my pace was slower because I paused to take pictures. I’m happy to have them though. I think of it as lingering in this treat of a morning, celebrating the fresh air, October’s beauty, and what my body can do.

All was not perfect, of course. I couldn’t leave until about 7:15 a.m. because the sun rises at 7:25 a.m. (I haven’t yet mastered running safely in the dark). I would have loved to run farther, but kids needed to go to karate and flag football. I stayed out as long as I thought I could — to 8:25 a.m., so I guess “long” is relative — only to discover when I returned to the house that people had overslept and nothing had happened to move the kids forward toward getting in the car by 8:45 a.m.* We made it, and I got breakfast for the two karate-going children at Dunkin’ Donuts in between their lessons, but it was not a happy ending to the run.

That said, those leaves! It was a lovely run now, and I ponder that next year at this time I should be able to run farther and faster. Fall’s glory is fleeting but it will come again, and when it does, this round belly will be a pudgy baby, seeing all this wonder for the first time.

*So I was not happy about the mad sprint to get kids in uniforms that ensued. But in the points category, I left for the airport at 1 p.m. Sunday and my husband had the kids 100% afterwards, so there’s that.

5 thoughts on “In praise of fall weekend long runs (and not making the perfect the enemy of the good)

  1. I love fall long runs (and the races I am working toward. It seems that these few brief weeks of glorious temperatures and scenery are a reward for all the misery of running in the summer humidity!

  2. I was on a run Saturday morning, too! It was rainy in Columbus but I love icky weather so I wasn’t totally bummed. Also, just finished ‘I Know How She Does It’ and I was amazed how you managed to have a positive view of that family trip when your son was vomiting into a trashcan. The “mad sprint to get kids in uniforms” probably didn’t bug you much 🙂 Also, my third trimester runs turn into slow motion trots trying to keep my bladder from exploding, so I’m floored that you’re still running. Enjoy the week!

    1. @Judy- it was closer! Plus the Dunkin’ has seats so we could sit there – WaWa is just the convenience store.

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