August went by way too quickly, and I’m not bothered by it.
August ended on a sick and then stressful note that thankfully came and passed on August 30th. (This is code for having a meltdown at work. Turns out getting it off my chest and talking to my team lead was all I needed, so I’m okay now.) I realized the other day that the ideas I had of my August – of soaking up the last bit of sun by the pool when I wasn’t running all of the miles or lifting all of the weights – didn’t come to fruition as I thought they would. This might be the palest I’ve ever been at the end of August. But then again, my apartment pool has stayed open until October 1st in years past, so I might have some time on my side to break free from the pale force and become a Slightly-Less-Pasty Goddess.
But thank goodness for the arrival of September!
September is that cusp of summer transitioning to fall. The days are still sunny and beautiful without the added humidity, and a few of the trees around my work are starting to turn a modest shade of yellow. The school buses I forget about for about three months are back around my complex, announcing the arrival of a new year, and I get all of the notifications that college football is starting again. I’m not the biggest sports fan, but I also live in Columbus, Ohio. Go on a run or take a walk by any bar on a Saturday and you can tell from the cheers or jeers how the Buckeyes are playing.
My annual journey around mid-September to Lynd’s Fruit Farm is coming up. Every year I head east and buy all the pumpkins I could need for my front walk area, a mix of sizes and colors. Orange pumpkins are classic, but there’s something about ivory pumpkins that pops against the colors of my flower pots and the wreath I have on my door. The pumpkins are inexpensive, but I like to live large in the fall and usually walk out with pumpkins, and jams, and apples and apple cider. The Lynd family is doing pretty well off Ol’ Allison’s Spending Habits.
If you’ve never had apple cider before, you don’t know what you’re missing. It’s addictive, and it’s one of those perfect drinks for standing outside on your patio watching the sun come up on a crisp morning. Now that I think about it, September leading into the first day of fall has no weather-related downsides. Allergies aren’t on high alert the same way they are in the spring with the fresh pollen, there’s no dreary feelings from short winter days, and the heat isn’t killer. Wait, I already mentioned the heat a few paragraphs ago, didn’t I?
Humidity going away is a pretty big deal, especially since my Saturday mornings are dedicated to long runs. That’s really the big deal about September in my corner of the universe: marathon training kicks into full swing.
I’ve got seven weekends until the Columbus Marathon, seven more weekends for early alarms, long runs and trying not to give myself heat stroke because I underestimated how much Gatorade I was going to need. I’ve got less than two months to figure out what fueling combinations are going to give me the more efficient results, and try to decide if I should wear the same bike shorts like I’ve been wearing to avoid having to slather myself in Body Glide, or wear the hoochie mama shorts (with a secret pocket inside!) to create a nicer tan line. Course the bike shorts are black, black is slimming and I’ve been snacking, so I might stay with the shorts for that reason only.
September is go time, and I realized this past week – in spite of the meltdown a couple days ago – I’m finally getting my running groove back. The other day I was thinking about my peak of running, which was the year 2018. I was very single, so I had the time to dedicate to long runs and speed work, as well as cross training and resting. I felt like Wonder Woman during my runs, even the crummy ones, and achieved my half marathon PR of 2:10 at Columbus. I’m not a fast runner, so hitting that time goal was an undertaking worth the pain.
Then 2019 happened, the year I ran four full marathons. I’m glad I did it and I finally pulled a PR at Indianapolis that year – 4:44 – but once that race was over, my body was shot and needed to recuperate, which took a lot longer than I thought, although I didn’t and still don’t see that as a bad thing. Rest is criminally underrated.
Then 2020 hit. Professional blowups at my old job, the pandemic, cracks in my former relationship starting to show, and running took a back seat. I was still doing it, but virtual races are not the same as in-person and I found myself disinterested entirely. The mind and the body weren’t connected, and it’s been a struggle to reunite them over the last two years.
Then something happened this past week. I ran on both Monday and Tuesday, short distances of three miles each. Slowly I’ve been getting back into running in the morning after running primarily in the evenings after work. Tuesday morning was the first morning in months I woke up on my own 15 minutes before my alarm went off and felt restless, like I needed to run.
Three miles were done and I wondered why I ever stopped the morning runs in the first place. I felt alive and energized again. The endorphins were on full blast and every part of me – body, mind, soul – were finally connected again with the same message: We need to do this again.
2018 Allison was back.
September is the month where racing season really kicks off, and I can feel the excitement for what’s coming next in my soul. But before I can bolt out of the corral like a bat out of Hades, I’ve got a lot of work to do and roughly 30 calendar days to do it all.
So September – let’s make this incredible.
I hope you all have a wonderful month ahead. To all my newcomers – I’m glad you’re here. To my faithful followers – thanks for reading with me.
Yours in writing and reading,