Rambling Roads: Autumn Days

by George Hancock

September 1 arrives on a Sunday this year. The first is day 244 in year 2019. This means we have 121 days left for road-running pursuits.

September 1 is also the first day of Meteorological autumn. This season runs through November 30, 2019. All official autumn weather records are recorded during this time frame. Traditionalists celebrate the autumn’s first day on Monday September 23, 2019. This date is the autumnal equinox.

September begins our autumn season. Our days are filled with school, work, football, and a waning baseball season. Plus, we have the fall harvest. Our gardens, the stores feature seasonal treats.

Of course, one of my favorite autumn treats are apples. September is synonymous with the apple harvest. Our local orchards pick and sell these freshly picked apples. My two apple favorites are ready during September’s run. The honeycrisp and red delicious apple are again available. I love all apple varieties but these two are my favorites.

Apples are the perfect fruit. Apples can be eaten raw or baked in a delicious pie. Apples can be sliced and diced into our cereal, salads, pancakes, and numerous pastry treats. One can do so many superb things with the autumn apple crop.

Apples are a perfect post-run snack. Apples digest well for most folks. I have an apple every day for lunch year-round. I love apples.

Now one autumn treat earns me curious looks. I like Brach’s Autumn Mix candy. I never eat the whole bag at one time. I eat the recommended serving.  These delicious autumn candy treats also digest well. Many have difficulties with the sugary taste. Me thinks these folks are pounding down more than the recommended serving. Gorging on Autumn Mix or Candy Corn is not wise. Hmm,  I often wondered how far an ultramarathon runner could run eating this September treat.

September delivers cooler morning temperatures. Running in just a short-sleeve shirt is not always practical now.  A long-sleeve shirt and sometimes a jacket is required during September’s 30 day run.

Darkness covers my September run. Sunrise on September 1 happens at 6:42 a.m. My morning run is nearly complete by that time. Every day my run starts at 6:00 a.m. Streetlights illuminate my run plus I use my handy rechargeable road light. Our daylight hours are a mere thirteen hours and four minutes long now.

The morning daylight situation is really noticeable on September 30. Sunrise happens at 7:10 a.m. My run from start to finish is in the autumn dark. There are just eleven hours and forty nine daylight minutes now. Running is possible. The morning runner simply runs with open eyes, wears reflective gear while using a road light.

Daily running need not stop during these autumn days. Our clothing and running technology have evolved with products that insure our road safety.  Research plus trial and error determines what works well for an individual’s running efforts.

Of course, daylight is shrinking from both morning and evening. The after-work runner is also experiencing dark runs.

The lunchtime runner is in seventh heaven.  A midday autumn run is generally cool and comfortable. And fabulous fall sights await the noon runner. The sun beams off our coloring foliage. A vast rainbow sea is visible. The only issue here is that the runner must return to work. It’s difficult leaving Mother Nature’s  artwork especially if one must return inside.

September delivers a superb autumn taste. Our changing landscape provides delightful road sights. Soon seasonal colors will spread across our ridges and wooded hills. One wonders how any run can dramatically improve during our autumn days. But they do!

Autumn is not the time for perfecting a couch-potato lifestyle. Or, cutting back your running excursions. Autumn creates a pleasant running environment. Many road racers appreciate this season for upcoming race preparations. Other runners like me appreciate the changing seasons seeking out new daily road sights. The point being, get outside and enjoy this season.

Autumn is here. Our year moves along. Autumn presents a new season for road explorations. Enjoy!  Run well, run smart!

Categories: Features

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