The weather is changing and, with that, comes a set of side effects of running which will, mostly likely, stick around until April. As the temperatures start to cool, my lungs start to get that familiar burning sensation if I push too hard. And, when I push too hard or too long, I end up with the lovely, phlegmy cough for about an hour afterward. It’s really a beautiful sound. Just ask my wife!
It’s a wonderfully poetic thing, though, that as the trees lose the last of their leaves and the geese make their southbound flight, we, as runners, would take a period of the year and slow down a bit, too. Sometimes, of course, you slow down because you have to. Sometimes the snow slows us down. Sometimes, we slow down because the ice is a little treacherous. Sometimes, we slow down because what was once a two person wide side walk becomes a thin stretch exposed asphalt. But, it doesn’t start there. It starts with a slight burning sensation in the lungs a few months before all that fun starts. There is an ebb and a flow to nature, a birth-to-death and back to life cycle. And we have the ability to experience it in all it’s splendor.
So, embrace these changes, because running isn’t always sunny, 60 degrees Fahrenheit, with a tailwind. Sometimes, you have to fight for it and sometimes you have to submit to it. Some take to their treadmills this time of year, but I encourage you to get outside, at least once a week, and really experience the weather, the flow, the burning for what it is: a time to slow down and enjoy the new scenery.