I think that Fall is possibly the best time of year to run in North Carolina. Over the past week we have certainly started feeling the effects of cooler days. The Sun is setting earlier, making running in the early to late evening much more enjoyable. The mornings are even better yet. With the cool downs overnight, the mornings have just been fantastic this past week. It’s actually begun a little early for my area, but I am not complaining.
I stepped out of my normal comfort zone yesterday and actually got up early to run before work. Don’t get me wrong, I usually run most days, but normally do not set an alarm, and get out as early as I did yesterday. With temperatures in the low to mid 50’s when I got up, it was just the perfect run. As I head into the final days leading up to the next three weekends of racing, my mileage is down for taper. I ran 4 miles yesterday. I ran on a nice hilly loop around the area that I live. My lungs thoroughly enjoyed the crisp morning. I was able to push out an 8:28 pace. Not bad considering the hills I run on. In fact, several runs I have taken lately have been a lot speedier than my run over the Summer. In addition to not feeling as drained post-run, it is just such a refreshing change.
In this part of NC, the leaves will not be changing anytime soon, but the temps are approaching runner perfection! My paces over the past two weeks range anywhere from a low of 8:21 for a 5k hill run, up to a 9:04 for my 18 miler, on a very hot and humid day. Looking at the forecast for the next week, I have a pretty good idea what I will be up against for this Saturday’s Half Marathon. The low overnight before the race is supposed to be 62. Ok, not low 50’s, but we can’t have it all, right? The high that day 83. We will be finished racing long before the temps get too warm.
The weather in the mountains, approximately a four hour drive west of where I live, is often times much cooler than it is here. The 10 day forecast in the Asheville area only stretches until the day I arrive there on the 27th. The race is the 28th, but as it looks right now, the low is 53 that day, and the high is 73. Plenty of sunshine, too! I can handle that forecast, for sure. It looks like it will be a nice chilly race start, and a gradual warm up. My last Marathon in April was a perfect day weather wise. The start was very cold, with not a cloud in the sky. After a mile however, I never felt too cold, or too hot during the race. That is the kind of weather you want. Hoping for the same in Asheville.
Since we are staying in the area for the long weekend, I am hoping to see a little bit of Fall color in the mountains. Asheville, Boone, Blowing Rock areas are all just beautiful in the Fall. It’s a great place to be, in the North Carolina mountains during the Fall season, and I hope it will be equally great to run there as well.
Here’s hoping for some really pretty scenery on our trip, and on my 26.2 mile journey in Asheville. I hope you enjoy getting out there during this great time of year to run, as much as I do. Cheers!