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Posts Tagged ‘fall is my favorite’

During our grocery shopping yesterday, I tried to convince Husband that we should really decorate our home for fall, starting with a pumpkin out front. He looked skeptical at the prospect of, what he called, “putting rotting fruit on our front porch,” but I started looking at the selection anyway.

You know, it seems like you’re really not into having a pumpkin at all.

No, I like pumpkins. It’s just with so many kids running around the neighborhood you really have to be on your gourd.

Like I said, I’m a sucker.

But so is he, because we bought the pumpkin anyway.

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In the weeks leading up to the half-marathon (which was yesterday), I ran 9 times. Of those runs, only two were 6 miles or more – not even half of a half-marathon.

I basically did everything wrong when preparing for this race.

But still I thought that maybe, just maybe, I could beat my old time of 2:06:50. (Even though my pseudo-secret goal – before lack-of-training was obvious – was under 2 hours.)

So I suited up – complete with a pace band, to keep me on track – and thanked God for yesterday morning’s absolutely perfect running weather.

A recent injury kept Husband on the sidelines, but he biked around the course, looking for (and usually finding) me at certain mile markers. It became a game for me. I knew that the next time I saw him I’d be x% done with the course.

Nothing like a good math problem to distract from how tired your body is.

I was afraid that I’d started off too fast. Afraid that I hadn’t paced myself properly (even with the pace band on my wrist, spelling it out for me). I was afraid that I’d crash before hitting the finish line.

And I could have. Except for two things:

  1. I knew that Husband was waiting at the finish line for me.
  2. I could see from Guillermo that, if I could stay steady, I would achieve my secret goal – by a lot.

So I stayed steady and sprinted the last stretch.

And when I crossed the finish line – finding Husband immediately – Guillermo showed me that it was totally worth it, reading 1:53:58.

At the finish line – I really was happy, but the smile doesn’t quite make it to my eyes because I was about to fall over.

I beat my previous PR by more than 10 minutes, and I came in well under 2 hours.

As I wobbled over to the food and water, Husband was there to hold me up and tell me how proud he was. As well as (understandably) slightly surprised.

You hardly trained for that! You really are a slave to the weather.

He’s right. If there had been any humidity yesterday, I would have been a goner.

But there wasn’t.

So now I have a brand new PR, and one more thing to cross off my list.

*All photos courtesy of Husband. Thank you for finding me.

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Tomorrow morning I could wake up and go for a nice long run and revel in the fall weather and changing leaves.

Photo credit

Or, I could wake up and stay snuggled up in bed, catching up on whichever book/TV show I so choose.

Or, I could venture out into the world and just stroll around the city.

Or, well…you get the idea.

I have options now that I’m not training for another race (just yet). And those options feel glorious.

Don’t get me wrong – I love the structure of a training schedule. But toward the end of said schedule it gets tiresome to bow out of weekend plans in favor of a three to four hour run. So I plan to embrace these next couple months, running when the mood strikes, letting other forms of exercise into the mix, and allowing myself to relax when it’s called for. It’s good for my mental health.

I know it may seem silly to be so excited about a free weekend, but it seems that they are fewer and farther between these days. And so I feel the need to take advantage.

If you need me these next couple days, I’ll be lounging, going out, spending quality time with my friends, and just generally enjoying myself.

Except, of course, for that pesky school work. But hey, you can’t have everything.

Happy Friday!

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Think about it:

  • September’s weather can be a little hit or miss, but October’s usually perfect (minus this rain).
  • It’s the beginning of postseason baseball.
  • There’s Halloween (and, consequently, playing dress up) to look forward to at the end.
  • In the spirit of Halloween, there are always scary/cheesy-scary movies on TV. (If I still had cable, and time, I’d be watching ABC Family’s annual Halloween countdown. One family friendly scary movie every night! Though, that version of scary usually includes Harry Potter…which I’m okay with.)
  • And, of course, October is my biggest race month.

– There’s the super fun Warrior Dash scheduled for next weekend – during which I’ll get an amazing Viking helmet. (Photos to come, post-race.)

– Then the Army 10-Miler two weeks after that, which I’m determined to enjoy more than last year.

– And finally, on Halloween morning, there’s the Marine Corps Marathon. Last year I ran the 10k, this year it’s all 26.2.

One of my 25 goals was to run the MCM faster than I did the National Marathon. As I get closer to the date, I’m honestly not sure that will happen, but I’m still SO excited. The atmosphere is unlike any other race I’ve been a part of – as both a runner and as a spectator.

It’s still nerve-wracking to be starting my countdown now (only 30 days!), but in a good way. I know that the crowds (and, let’s be honest, that enormous medal) will make the hours of running well worth it.

So, even though I don’t really get to celebrate Halloween this year, I’ll survive. And, along with the cheers of Marines, I’ll be rewarded with this:

I’ll just have to save playing dress up for another weekend.

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I’ve always loved the whole going-back-to-school season. I love the school supplies shopping, the newness of everything, and the way I can pretend that this is the year that all those organizational tools I’ve bought will actually keep me organized.

It’s worth a shot.

Funny enough, H told me to add crayons to my schools supplies list, "just because." We'll see...

I also love planning out my back-to-school outfit. I actually still remember what I wore on the first day of school from about second grade (a matching shorts and t-shirt combo, that may have involved some plaid) through ninth (the main piece was one of those Old Navy fleece vests – they were very in that year). And, while some of those outfits should never be repeated (let’s be honest, denim on denim doesn’t look good on anyone, and I’m sad that my mother let me out of the house in it, even if it was 1995), I still remember just how much thought and preparation went into planning that style.

I did it again for today, my first first-day-back-to-school in four years.

I know it’s grad school. I know I’ve already met a bunch of people at orientation. I know that I’m 25 and unlikely to make the same fashion mistakes as I did fifteen years ago. But it’s tradition.

I have the new school supplies (no crayons just yet). I have my planner. I’ve ordered my books. I have my backpack.

And so I also picked out my first-day-of-school, I’m-all-growed-up, confidence-inducing outfit, the night before, just to be complete.

I still wish I had my Wonder Woman lunch box, though, for that extra dose of security.

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Several people have written recently about the sudden onset of fall. It’s not surprising, really, when you think about how the weather here shifted so drastically to autumn temperatures with the beginning of September. (And speaking of September, seriously, where did you come from?) But I think I liked it best when Jo wrote that, to her, fall is equated with new beginnings.

I really couldn’t agree more.

dirtroad4

It makes sense, considering that, growing up, fall was always the start of a new school year. Regardless of when your birthday fell, you were another “year” older. New classes, new people, new experiences – whatever lay ahead, you were starting out with a clean slate.

Once college started, there was an even greater feeling of starting fresh. This time, it wasn’t just one or two new people in your classes, that you may have seen but never talked to, but over a thousand new classmates that you’d be spending the next four years (or so) with. You could be whoever you wanted.

The first fall after I graduated college felt a little off. The school year was starting again – autumn was starting again – but I wasn’t going back to school. It was tempered a bit by the fact that I had just moved to DC, was starting my job, and was just generally thrown into a new situation. But the feeling was still present.

It’s now my third fall, post-graduation, and even if I miss the going-back-to-school part (which will hopefully be different next year – fingers crossed!), I still get the sense of new beginnings. This type of weather gives me a little pep in my step in the morning, regardless of how tired I am. The cooler nights lend themselves to snuggling. The changing leaves color the city in a way that the heat of summer just doesn’t allow.

I know there will be days when I miss the warmth of the past few months, but autumn more than makes up for that.

I’d rather have a new beginning, any day.

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