Posted by Filed Under: Inspiration & Motivation, The Beaten Path

the beaten pathSo, it appears that another fall is upon us.

Fall, if I may be blunt, ROCKS. Straight up Kicks Tail and Takes Names, as far as running is concerned. Summer gets all the glory, winter gets all the tough cred, and spring gets all the beauty and joy, but for me, fall is the time to run.

It hit me this morning as I finally stepped out of the house for a pre-day run. Today was the first day this year that I’d gone down the street a bit and thought “Hey, long sleeves might have been nice.” Not quite cold enough for sweatpants, but chilly enought that I still had goosebumps on the forearms after a mile.

But fall is the time of year that separates runners from joggers. In a lot of ways, fall represents an end to the running season—it’s the time of marathons and the end of training programs. The days are shorter, meaning that we’re squeezing running into a tinier amount of hours, being relegated to the dreadmill, or trying hard to make ourselves seen in the darkness.

autumn-leaf.jpgFall’s when we tend to fall off the wagon, so to speak. It’s harvest time, meanining that the markets and stores are chock full of tasty goodness—pies, fruits, etc. It’s the beginning of a series of holidays dedicated to porking out—Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving for those of us in the states. Football season is here—Saturday afternoons spent cheering for the Longhorns (or whomever) with suds, nachos, and wings. And the kids are back in school—little disease vectors bringing back the bugs that their friends gathered over the summer.

So, actually taking the couple of minutes for ourselves each day becomes a greater and greater challenge, faced with tasty and socially acceptable diversions.

My history with fall is kind of dubious, too. My first marathon attempt got sidelined in the fall of 1999—days were short, long runs took up a signifigant fraction of the daylight hours, and the cold of late fall in Connecticut was a shock for this son of the South.

But, over the last few years, I’ve really come to enjoy the fall. The cool means that I can run farther without sweating like a hog. The shorter days are filled with more of the “golden” light that comes from the sun’s rays cutting shallowly through the atmosphere—go shoot pictures; they’ll come out incredible. And the transformation from the deep green of summer to the barren grey of winter is happening on an almost hourly basis. Taking some time each day to revel in the beauty of creation is good for the soul.

Now is the time to store up good vibes for the long days of winter. Gather ye rosebuds and all that crap—we’re about to enter the suck.

But, with the proper perspective, boys and girls, we’ll come out the other side thinner, faster, and ready for spring.

About Bill Jankowski

Jank is the nom-de-plume (alias) of Bill Jankowski. Jank is a runner (defined as “one who runs”, without any necessary claims of athleticism). More accurate would be to say that he enjoys the company of his iPod, and goes to great lengths to get long periods of time alone with his thoughts. Plus, running is a wonderful way to keep his ego in check. He’s been physically active since he was a kid (assuming that, for the years 1995-1999 and 2001-2003, drinking counts as “active”), playing Soccer, Flag Football, Basketball, and Softball while in college (for his fraternity’s B-team)(Actually, add 1990-1994 to the years of inactivity). In addition to running, Jank swims (controlled drowning), bikes (’cause his mom suggested he play in traffic as a kid), and kayaks (see swimming, but with sharks and props). An engineer by the grace of God, a (recovering) submariner by the graces of the taxpayers of the United States, and an MBA by mistake, Bill enjoys gear (oooh, shiny!), cycling (oooh, shiny bikes and clothes!), and poking at accepted ideas with a pointy stick. In 2004, Jank decided he didn’t want to go full-over to being fat, and took up running (instead of stopping eating). In 2005, he finished his first marathon (WooHoo!) in October, and his second two weeks later (dumb idea). He is still recovering. Bill lives in Connecticut (the poorer, eastern part) with his lovely wife Melissa (who is far more fit than he is and way less navel-gazing about it), and their two sons, Jake and Nate, who, in addition to having deliberately cool names, are the finest children to grace the Earth (clear proof that “evolution through natural selection” is bunk; although he still questions the monthly bill for “Pool Boy” despite not having a swimming pool). His rants can be found at; his best stuff is found here at CRN.

  1. Joe Ely on September 20th at 9:47 am

    Great post, Jank…my favorite time of year too!!

  2. jank on September 20th at 12:16 pm

    Thanks, Joe.

  3. Mark Iocchelli on September 20th at 12:59 pm

    For me, there’s no question that Fall is the best. 🙂

  4. Dianna on September 20th at 7:33 pm

    “we’re about to enter the suck.”

    quotable jank. i love it.

  5. Dawn - Pink Chick on September 21st at 8:16 pm

    Oddly enough I do better in fall/winter running. For some reason I enter “suck” in late summer. This year, well I’ve “sucked” for most of the year. Oh well next year will be sooooooooo much better.

    Good stuff Jank.

  6. A Passion for Running » lovely on September 26th at 2:25 pm

    […] I had a tremendous run today. As Bill mentioned, fall running ROCKS. It’s definitely my favorite season for running. […]