The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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I don’t know many runners who don’t love fall — especially that first fall run of the season — more than any other time of the year. Especially recently, given how hot, sweaty, and swampy the summer months have been. I don’t know about you, but Philly had way too many above-90-degree days this summer. Even the mornings were in the high 70’s. And even last week, during September no less, I braved an early morning run in 87% humidity. Woof.

You can imagine my excitement this week — happy Friday! — when I’ve woken up to 55- and 65-degree temperatures. Fall running is truly the most wonderful time of the year, and I’ve been doing my best to soak it all in.

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There are just two issues now:

1. Ugh, the gym.

I suspended my gym membership over the summer, but this has started up again. What that means is I’m paying for a space I essentially never use. So, I need to start going again. I’ve found two classes that have caught my eye — yoga on Tuesday evenings and barre on Wednesdays. I probably won’t go to both, but if I can commit to one per week, I’ll feel better about my dues. That said, I already failed to go to either of these classes this week. On Tuesday, it was simply too beautiful to workout indoors. And Wednesday, I traded my stretchy pants (I packed ’em and everything!) for a last-minute Philly’s game.

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Look ma, I’m on TV!

2. Ouch, my legs!

Countless consecutive runs throughout spring, summer, and now as we approach fall have left my legs in less than perfect shape. This morning, for example, within a few steps my right shin started screaming. Fortunately, a few steps later, I was able to shake it off. I kept the run slow, steady and smart. But knowing how easy it is to acquire pesky little runner injuries (I’ve had a stress fracture in this same shin before — it totally sucked) I need to be cognizant of my physical well-being.

So, that’s where we are. It’s fall. It’s amazing. I want to run every second of every day, but that’s dumb — both because cross-training is important and because overrunning causes injuries. Simple, right? Now, to put this all into practice.

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Fall running. Go! What’s your favorite running season, and have you ever scaled back despite it?

On the Run: The City of Lights

I feel incredibly fortunate to have spent a long Labor Day weekend in Paris, drinking wine, eating cheese, and walking absolutely everywhere. Of course, a getaway isn’t a getaway (to me, at least) without one solid, scenic run. And what better place to take in the views than Paris?

It’s not every day one gets to say that their run took them as far as the Champs-Elysees. Or the Louvre.


Or the Eiffel Tower.

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But last weekend, that’s exactly where we (Noah, my husband, joined me on my morning excursion) wound up. As he mapped our route back to the hotel, I couldn’t help but stare up, amazed, neck craned toward the sky into the metal abyss. It was beautiful, if not slightly intimidating. I couldn’t imagine at that moment anywhere else I’d prefer to be, which in itself is a magical feeling.

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Running, or exercising in general, while on vacation seems to be a touchy subject for many. We work so hard every other day of the year, it makes sense that people see their days off as a chance to stop, shut down, and unwind.

But for me, running is synonymous with exploration. It’s synonymous with discovery. It’s synonymous with peace of mind. Running through Paris, I felt at ease (save for the tiny streets packed with tons of people; at times, we simply stopped and walked).    I felt unrushed. I felt, well, not at all like I was on the run.

Of course after, my husband and I continued to eat our way through the entire city, stocking up on chocolate croissants, almond pastries, balls of burrata and other delicious, calorie-free cheese. (Winter is coming; see ya, summer bod.)

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And now, we’re back in Philly. Am I sad to be back in reality? Not really, to be honest. Now that I’ve finally been able to shake the jet lag, it’s kind of nice to be back to my weekly routine; I ran 3 days this week and attended a class at the barre studio. I slept in my bed. I snuggled my cat. I returned to the daily grind.

But it’s nice knowing that trips like these, even when they go by too quickly, are out there. With Paris behind us, I’m already ready to start planning the next one.

Have you ever run the streets of Paris? Are you a pro-vacation runner, or do you leave your Mizunos (or whatever else you wear) home?