Beautiful Day

As I have written before, autumn in my favorite season and mid-October is my favorite part of the season. It is cool enough to feel the crispness of the air, yet warm enough I don’t have to bundle up to run outside. The leaves are approaching their peak colors and the late afternoon sun is vibrant. Today embodied the perfect day in mid-October. My second workout today was a run, which I just finished and I am still celebrating my endorphin pumped runner’s high. The workout called for 70 minutes easy in my zone 2 heart rate, which ranges from 107-133 based on my last assessment. Because I live in such a hilly area, I have been deferring to the treadmill for these types of runs. Not today. My drive home from work convinced me that run/walking outside on this glorious day is far better than maintaining a consistent pace in my basement on the treadmill.

My run did not disappoint and it was as wonderful as the day. Best part – I kept my heart rate average at 129 and my running pace was 12:33 per mile. For an outside, hilly easy run this was a very good pace. I only took two very short walking breaks at the steepest hills when my heart rate went over 135. Yes, it was frustrating because I walked to keep my heart rate down, not because I couldn’t endure the run. These moments are getting fewer and shorter in time, more proof that my training is working. I was happiest with my average heart rate though – to keep it under 130 for nearly 6 miles is a big improvement. Believing I am able to improve is working, I see the results.

This morning I once again made it to the 6:00 AM spin class. It was a sprint workout which I liked since yesterday was an easy active recovery day. Getting my legs spinning and my heart pumping started the day out well. Spinning is getting my legs (and my mind) accustomed to pedaling at a high cadence along with a decent amount of resistance. Hopefully this will translate to stronger riding on the road. Unfortunately I don’t think I will be getting out on the road before early spring. Marathon training on the weekends is my top priority and with the race December 2nd, old man winter may keep me from riding. Last winter was mild, but I live in an area called the snow belt. We measure snow more often by feet instead of inches…

Just the mention of snow makes me wish days like today could last forever. But if it did, I wonder if I would appreciate it as much as when I know it is rare, limited, and fleeting. Being able to run outside today gave me the opportunity to take in the day knowing it may not be as beautiful within a week or two. Rain is in the forecast and this time of year that means the leaves may be washed from the trees quickly. One more reminder to appreciate each day and find the happiness and beauty in it. Within a blink of an eye it is gone.

2 thoughts on “Beautiful Day

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  1. Do you get into the whole “I’m tough because I run in the snow” thing? That’s the one thing I love about winter – the first mile or two hurt like hell getting warmed up, but after that it’s magical… Except for the ice that forms on the eyebrows and eyelashes – but that always makes me feel a little tougher. I know you do most of your poor weather running on a mill, I was just curious.

    1. I actually love running outside all year. The treadmill is a necessary evil for specific workouts – speed or slow. I have a double digit rule outside, as long as the temperature is 10 or higher I will run. It will be interesting to see how this holds up with asthma. Balaclava masks, hot hands, Gortex – I have it all to stay warm! Icicles on eyebrows are the worst!

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