Photo courtesy of www.layoutsparks.com
Stepping outside the slight chill went straight to the bone, but a quick thought to the intense heat of one of the weekend's runs stops goosebumps in their tracks.
Legs are tight and tired, but ready to do this.
A weak beep from our watches and we're headed down the street. Fall is in the air and the dense blanket of last week's humidity has lifted, at least temporarily.
If my legs were made of wood, they would be the weathered, creaky type that lines the floors of weather-worn porches, or ancient attics. I can almost hear them whine with each step. I remind myself that a warm-up will have them singing shortly.
As sing they did. A brilliant mezzo soprano, on opening night, sparkling beneath the lights! Maybe that's an exaggeration, but they were feeling happy.
The wind howled at our backs, pushing us along with fantastic speed. "We are going to pay for this on the way back north," he says, turning toward me as his voice is carried off, tumbling along the shoulders of the early autumnal wind, to be caught by someone up ahead. Funny how sound travels on the wind.
Coats and even scarves are making their first appearances of the season. Sure signs of autumn. Smiles abound, thankful for the respite from the heat.
The lake is in a fury, waves crashing relentlessly against the breakwall. Rounding the corner by the museum, walls of water shoot straight up in the air, crashing down inches from our feet. "Eeee! Hahahahaha, it's beautiful!" I shout as we dodge the water walls. Timing is everything if you want to stay dry, and we manage to make it around the bend untouched. For now.
Another wave, this time soaking the spot we just ran across. Ksssssssssssss, as the water recedes and plunges back into the lake only to be thrown back up into the air with the next wave. The sound consumes every air particle, every nook and cranny. I can barely hear myself laughing as we make our way along the next wall of water. Climbing up one, two, three steps to avoid the commotion altogether, we marvel at the view of the city hugged in a blanket of clouds. It's a little like being in a snow globe, but with clouds.
Making our way onto the little island we wind around the path, reaching our turnaround point. "It's been nice chatting!" And we turn and head back into a fierce wind, nearly on our toes leaning into it.
Whhhhiiiiiirrrrrrr A monotone, high-pitched buzz that nearly disappears if you turn your head all the way to one side. Eyes watering, nose running. Ah, autumn, indeed.
Soon the leaves will be changing. The brisk breeze will become a blowing wind. The sun will welcome us midway through our morning runs, if at all, rather than greeting us upon waking. A day in the 60s will be a rare treat, and runny noses will become the norm once again.
It feels as though we'll never get there, but eventually we're home. Beep. And done. I didn't know if my legs had it in them after a tough long road run the day before, and a demoralizingly hot trail run two days prior. But they did.
And thus begins Week 7.