Autumn has arrived in the Northern Hemisphere.
And, for runners, what a glorious season it is!
Arguably, the best running weather of the year will greet us for at least the next few months. Mornings will be crisp and cool. Many days will feature warm afternoon sun that's not too warm, as the sun moves farther away from us.
In addition, runners, perhaps more than any other athletes, will not only witness, but will actually be a part of nature's amazing transformation, as days get shorter, colors change, and winds shift.
Races will abound throughout the next few weeks, and blazing summer heat will no longer slow us down. Yes, we are going to be forced to 'layer up' our clothing, but the effort will be well worth it as we see our race times tumble.
Don't squander these coming weeks. Select a couple of race distances you'd like to attack, and peak for those events. Don't fall victim to 'overracing,' rather, concentrate on the twin pillars of success: a weekly long run and a weekly speed workout during the weeks you don't race. Both workouts become much more pleasant during the fall months.
And, when we reach the end of this season and the Winter Solstice raises its frozen head?
Then it's time to reward yourself as you look back and contemplate your successes and setbacks of 2015.
Use the holiday season to take a break for a couple of weeks, as you prepare to rededicate yourself for the new year.
But, I'm getting ahead of myself.
Enjoy this magnificent fall season. Appreciate the early morning chill. Enjoy the light air, as the humidity dissipates. Turn a long run into a longer run by taking advantage of the temperature change. Have fun with Halloween races, Turkey Trots, and Jingle Bell jaunts.
Be sure to be safe, reflective and bright as the days get shorter and daylight decreases.
rain and race well.
When you do, each day will be your personal best.
**Joe Muldowney has been a competitive runner since 1976, owning a personal best marathon time of 2:22:54. He is a veteran of 54 marathons, 48 under the 3:00 mark, and 12 under 2:30. At age 57, he turned in a marathon time of 2:58:54. Joe has run the Boston Marathon 16 times, and in Personal Best, he writes his account of the events at the tragic 2013 race. Check out his website