Sunday, October 2, 2011

Running in the N.E.W

This morning was the perfect run. I went long, and not fast at all. It was civil twilight when I left the house, and the sun rose into a clear blue sky. It lit the trees into firey shades of orange, red, and gold.

If you know me, you know I'm a cold weather runner. You can have those hideous sweatfests that are August runs, I'll take a 35 degree morning any day of the week. This is my perfect time of year. No snow, no ice, just frost and my breath in the air. A pair of cheap gloves, a smart-alecky hat, and I'm on my way.

There is something wonderful about Northeastern Wisconsin. In the spring and summer it is 1,000 shades of green, like no place else in this country (and I've lived all over it). But autumn? Autumn is special. In September and October, northeast Wisconsin explodes into a rainbow of color. The farm fields turn golden, and then are tilled under, releasing the smell of fresh earth. The trees begin changing with little peeks of color, and then WHAM! It's a crazy collage of beauty, with little brick churches, red barns, and deer dotting the landscape. This morning the visual beauty was heightened for me by the smell of woodsmoke and damp leaves. As I turned downhill by the little brick church in my neighborhood, fields bordered by trees spread out before me, terminating in the sparkling water of Green Bay.

Today I feel lucky to be alive and a runner in this place. I couldn't wipe the smile off my face...and over 12.42 miles, that's a lot of smiling.

One of these days I'm going to photograph my favorite routes and post them. One of these days...