Fall means cross country season in our house. Many weekends I find myself at the start of a race…dashing with other parents through the woods to the one- mile marker and then off to the base of a hill….then to the edge of a small lake…. hoping to catch a glimpse of our daughters or sons as they race by. I love cross country meets. They’re exhilarating. Watching younger runners dig deep and push themselves out on a cross country course motivates me to get in touch with my passion for running.
Autumn does that too. Cooler temperatures make running easier. It’s my favorite time to run. Especially this autumn. I am not injured. Not burned out. Not really anything but happy to get out and run. I’m planning on running a race sometime in the next few months but haven’t signed up for anything yet. I’m open to a half-marathon or even a trail run. A few of my running buddies have already tackled a fall marathon.
It’s been a while since my last marathon, but I’m content right now to train for life. I guess it’s the season I am in. While adding a race to my schedule excites me a little bit , it’s only a little bit. In other seasons, racing was important for goal setting…. it was that carrot that I was training for. It was fun. I am still having fun. The carrot is just different in this season. With nine children stretching in age from 25 to 5, my life is full of their stuff. This weekend we will visit one in college (at USNA) for a parents weekend, and next weekend we will fly to Texas for a winging ceremony as our oldest finishes flight school. Our daughter graduated (Auburn) and is back home considering her future. Swim meets and cross country meets fill our other weekends as the five younger kids who are still home are busy with their athletics and academics.
Living in North Carolina, I love change of seasons. It is a visible reflection of renewal. There always seems to be a feeling of change within that accompanies the changes in the seasons. My running life has also gone through seasons and change. I look back and can appreciate other seasons when training for marathons and triathlons fit into my lifestyle. I would bring younger children to the races and they would cheer on from the side with their dad. Some of my older kids have run their own half-marathons and now also like to run (one even runs at West Point Division I cross country). I know there will be another season when I get back to training more seriously. But for now, I’m happy dashing from one point to the next at the local cross country meets… cheering on my girls and looking forward to a long Sunday run with friends. What season are you running in?