Around 11:30 yesterday I was faced with a decision: yoga, walk, or run? There was a light rain. I’d get wet doing any of the three options (I’m still on the heated power yoga kick). By 11:55 I’d narrowed it down to walk or run; lately I’m not as keen on power yoga 2 days in a row. By 12:05 I had my gear on, and had set foot outside. Brr. It was chilly enough that my calf-length tights would not have been warm enough, so BAM the decision to run was made.

For several months now my fitness schedule has been mainly dictated by a training plan related to whatever race was on the horizon. I’ve done 5 races, the first of which was in late April!

However, for the last few weeks I’ve been hemming and hawing about this Memphis half-marathon on December 6. I’ve been loosely following a Hal Higdon half-marathon plan, but presently am rebelling from it. Why? It’s on pavement, not soft trail; I’ve been in training for a race since last January & the motivation has petered out; it’s on the last day of a road trip and we’d basically need to jump in the car right after the race; my husband and I are due for a trip that is not end-capped by set event dates/times; I’m more into yoga at the moment (perhaps due to race training burnout).

But just like that, I blundered into my decision yesterday, and it was a most fabulous -and surprisingly fast- run. I picked a similar method to choose my route: My normal routes didn’t appeal to me, but I’ve never run home before; it’s only about 2.6 miles away. That’s a nice distance for a lunchtime loop run. And the weather was perfect, if not downright comfortable, for this Tacoma-Washington raised girl: coldish and rainy.

Perhaps the key to the run’s perfection was the sensory overload brought on by the season, and by my decision to not bring my iPod.

Sight: Most of the leaves have turned and fallen, so the scenery was not only colorful, but topsy-turvy in terms of what drew the eye-this is what I truly love about the seasons in Minnesota. For the past several months, the brightest thing has been the sky, but with yesterday’s grey sky, the brightest thing was the ground, where all the bright yellow leaves were. We’ll have more of the same switcheroo, once more snow sets in (and it had better!), though it won’t be quite as vibrant as the yellow. Constrasty but quiet
Smell: Why does juniper have a stronger scent on moist, cool days? Wow.
Sound: The swish-swish of my nylon windbreaker. The unzip (too hot), zip (chilly breeze), unzip (too hot again). The sticky sound of car tires moving over the wet pavement. Dogs bark. Train crossing bells blare; a train engine car roars through an intersection. My easy breath in, out, in, out, in, out.
Touch: It was cool enough to need mittens… until 10 minutes into the run. In, out, in, out of them. Hot fingers. A raindrop or two hit my cheek; one stuck to my eyeglass lenses & annoyed me for about 20 minutes. Then I removed the glasses and licked it off.
Taste: Wow, that juniper was strong-smelling. Why did the back parking lot at work smell like wet dog?

So, I’ve decided against the Memphis; no race is worth that much hemming and hawing. We’ll have fun as tourists, on our road trip.

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