By George A. Hancock
October’s treats delight the road athlete. These treats take many forms. Please note October’s treats are not all consumable items. Many October treats are visual.
The daily road runner views the four seasons from the roadside. The runner is keenly aware of the changing weather patterns. The next season seldom if ever surprises this runner. The runner notices the gradual change.
October truly represents the autumn season. Folks stepping outside readily see this visual October treat. The foliage is ablaze in various autumn colors. Red, yellow, and orange hues are mixed in with the year- round greens.
The Greater Johnstown region is nestled in the Laurel Highlands. These green ridges steadily transform into seasonal landscape masterpieces. Mother Nature’s artwork is fantastic.
Autumn’s colors last only so long. So, one must get outside to appreciate this natural beauty. Couch potatoes or autumn hibernators miss this breathtaking view.
Perhaps another October aspect that many will appreciate are those cooler temperatures. Despite the Covid-19 issues summer 2020 was hot and humid. Many regions, including my own, set new summer weather records. July 2020 was the warmest July on record for Greater Johnstown. Temperatures continually in the 90s coupled with high humidity created a very warm summer season. The above- average August and September temperatures added to our warm weather experience.
Thus, October’s cooler, crisp temperatures will soothe the sun-baked running clan. Initially, the cooler to cold morning temps are a shock. However, the running body adapts. Of course, October’s first frost is always a questionable treat. Admittedly, temps in the low to mid-30s take time for running acclimation.
Eventually, October running requires more road gear. This is not a treat for many. One does get used to running every day in a Tee, singlet, and shorts. Now the run demands gloves, a hat, and a warmer fleece top. An October runner out and about in a Tee and shorts will freeze. The season is changing and the runner must dress accordingly.
Another October running treat is all those neat Halloween decorations. Here in Greater Johnstown, Halloween ranks steps behind Christmas for seasonal decorations. I’ve already noticed many twinkling orange lights around numerous homes. The other day my road light highlighted a nifty front yard Halloween display. I smiled in the quiet morning dark. It was an elaborate display. Obviously, time and thought was used creating this display.
The apple crop selection continues. Every week more autumn apples are available. Apples are always a delicious fall treat. Apples fuel my road miles. Apples for lunch, apples in pies or homemade apple sauce are all delicious. October is a superb apple-munching month. October continues to deliver great apples. Apples are another October treat.
Covid-19 has slapped so many events across our nation. As we near October’s final days we ponder the question what about Halloween? Will local communities hold Trick or Treat activities? Yes, I realize I’m too old for door-to-door trick or treating. Yet, I still enjoy those Halloween candy treats. Candy Corn and Autumn Mix made by Brach’s are my favorites. Most folks loathe this sugary candy. However, this candy eaten in moderation helps fuel my road miles.
And, there are always plenty of these treats available in those post-Halloween markdown sales. I always snag a bag or two for future dining treats.
Of course, there always seems to be numerous chocolate treats available after Halloween too. These chocolate leftovers are perfect treats for those late autumn morning miles.
I guess we need to mention those myriad pumpkin-spice treats. Autumn and Pumpkin Spice are nearly synonymous these days. Pumpkin Spice coffee is an October morning treat. This coffee has a nice flavor and taste. Yes, it’s another post-run treat.
Pumpkin Spice cookies, cakes, cereal, and even bread are delicious treats. Again, eating in moderation should alleviate any guilty feelings. October offers delicious treats. Sampling some is normal and OK.
The calendar is flowing on. The daily runner is aware of these changing seasons. Enjoy those October treats. Run smart, run well!