The sound of your own heartbeat rushes over your body as you push through your last mile. Just as soon as you feel a sweat droplet trickle down your forehead, it’s pushed back into your hair by the breeze. You clench your phone a tiny bit harder and focus on the music in your ears. Time, distance, and space disappear.
Autumn running season is here.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, for runners! The breeze cools you off without freezing your ears, nose or fingertips; the slightly sharper temperatures mean you can push your speed, distance or mileage without worrying about wasting your body’s energy on heating or cooling itself. You can distract your mind from its woes by admiring the elegance of nature’s transition to winter.
My favorite way to run is to start with a general idea of where I would like to go, head in that direction and then let my legs carry me in whatever direction they please. Especially this fall, which has been trying for everyone, it can be important to find time to let yourself go. Once my legs are carrying out their strides, I turn to my thoughts, and try to let them go by focusing on my surroundings or on my breathing.
My favorite way to end a run is to look at where I ended up, which is often someplace I’ve never been before. I pause there to take a peaceful moment for myself as I start to cool down. I pick up my phone, look at the Nike running app map, see what weird shape I traveled today, and head back to my dorm. Once back, I shower, change and get to work. The post-exercise hour is often the most productive period of my day!
If you are a new runner, I recommend downloading the Nike running app. Their coaches are highly motivating, and the map is really helpful post-run.
Unfortunately, autumn running season is extremely short. Once the leaves start falling and temperatures drop, it’s time to start running inside or putting on extra layers, which can be frustrating.
So my advice is to go now! Right now! Pick a random destination from the list below, throw on a pair of sneakers, grab some water, and free yourself on the streets.
If you need some help, here are some of my personal favorite spots:
- The Reflecting Pond at Night
Since this was a night run, I didn’t want to stray too far from campus, but I ended up at the Christian Science Plaza and ran my last half mile as laps around the reflecting pond. Fun fact: the path around the pond kind of looks like/feels like a track, so this was super fun!
- Ducks at Boston Commons
Visiting the “Make Way for Ducklings” Statue and also seeing actual ducks was 10/10. Also about a mile and a half from campus, so running to and back is pretty much a 5K, the perfect distance.
- Path Down the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway.
Getting here is a little long, but this route is awesome because you hardly ever have to stop for traffic, there are flowers everywhere, and the path is breathtaking. Stop at the Harbor or Quincy Market on your way back!
Boston is incredibly rich in green spaces, history, monuments, and culture. There are cool things to discover everywhere, and what better way than seeing it up close and personal?
So, head outside. Go where the wind takes you. Go where your legs take you. Go as far as you can at a light jog or sprint, run in a straight line, run circles around blocks, or take a random left and see where you end up. Enjoy your cool autumn run.