Many of us are feeling that longing for summer days to keep stretching out before us and are trying to avoid looking the impending autumn squarely in the eyes. It's been a sweet (albeit sweaty of late) summer with plentiful sunshine.
For those of us who love to run, we're waking early to beat the heat or stepping out at dusk when the sun is no longer high in the sky -- and even though we love summer, we start to feel the beginnings of excitement for all that autumn running brings: cooler temperatures, cross country and road racing season, crunchy leaves beneath our feet.
We're between the seasons: it feels like summer, but Lansing's fall high school athletes officially started preseason training today. It's hot and muggy, but back-to-school sales and Halloween merchandise fill store shelves. The kids are definitely not in classes yet, but camp options are winding down (those of us with small children are very aware of this last point....) These in-between times mean endings -- and also beginnings. For us runners, autumn is a celebrated beginning. As F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote: "Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall."
The Lansing Lighthouse 5K is this weekend, August 20th, and there's no time like the present to get a race under your belt. Brought to you by the Lansing cross country team, the race is a perfect opportunity to mark a new beginning, to start over with a new season of running or a journey to being more active. It might by your your fiftieth 5K or your first -- for everyone, it'll be their first (and likely only) race of August 20, 2016.
Herein lies yet another gift of running: the reminder to be present in the moment. When we head out on a run, we often have intentions or plans for a certain pace or time, and we usually evaluate our progress towards a goal based on how that run went. There's value in this. And there's also value in knowing that each run is a different opportunity, a unique experience, a chance for a beginning, a starting over.
My favorite season of the year is autumn, most notably because of how much I love running in the crisp air. I'll be breathing in the warm summer air while it lasts. And I'll be ready to see a cloud of breath as I exhale on fall runs when the time comes.
For those of you who wish to do the same, gather some friends and meet up at one of the community run locations. Team RWB will be at the Town Trails run tomorrow, 8/16/2016, at 5pm. Join us at the Lighthouse 5K on Saturday, or morning walks at the track once they resume in a few weeks. If you want to meet at a time or place that isn't listed on the calendar but want others to join you, please let me know and we can add that to the calendar and Facebook page. This website is definitely in its beginning stages too, as is the attached community calendar. Share your feedback and suggestions, or if you're interested in organizing a run, let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org