“Nobody on the road
Nobody on the beach
I feel it in the air
The summer’s out of reach”
Despite my ipod playing other tunes, this was the song in my head as I ran 16km along the Ottawa River yesterday. The beach was indeed empty and I actually started the run a little chilled. Fall is indeed in the air. Here on my rural property it is always the sound of August that strikes me. Spring here is the sound of frogs and birds, early summer the sound of rolling late afternoon thunderstorms. Fall is the sound of leaves and cold rain, while winter sounds simply gorgeous in its silence. But August has its own particular sound, though it often lends it to the early weeks of September. There is a constant hum, or is it a buzz, of insects that can be heard throughout the day. The sound is steady and rarely changes. It is only once in a while disrupted by birds or chipmunks, but even they seem to be quietened by the sound. I wish I could do justice to the noise – you would think it might be creepy, or even irritating. It is instead calming and somehow a little mournful too as you know it is the sound of summer ending.
And for me it is marking the ending of what perhaps has been my favourite summer of running. I did not set any PB’s, in fact if I remember right my last road race was in May. I am in fact running much slower than I was last year. But I am up over 50 kms of running a week, and more importantly, I do not feel overwhelmed or exhausted. That is not to say every run has been perfect. Yesterday’s run was all over the “pace” with too many stops – stops for bathrooms, for a ringing cell phone, for pictures and just for breath. I went out too fast (which really wasn’t that fast at all) and paid for it at the end. And yet as I take a rest day today I find myself antsy to get out there again. Mentally, I am loving running, it has only rarely seemed like something I have had to do as opposed to something I really want to get out and do. I even became a morning runner this summer, and anyone who knows me knows that that is an accomplishment in itself.
Things will all change soon. I have had the luxury of a whole summer off, but soon it is back to work. Of all my running hopes and dreams right now, the one I wish for most is to still be able to hold on to this running joy I have felt even as more demands are put upon me. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful end to a marathon training session!