I've spent most of the last week travelling to four different universities for a graduate school tour with my son. I told just about everyone, especially my friends here in Florida where the temperature is still reaching the mid 90's by mid afternoon, that I will enjoy running on these midwestern campuses, with the trees turning brilliant colors of red, orange, and yellow, and with cooler temperatures.
But, although the trees were pretty to look at, the weather was not fun to run in. It was cold in the morning - temperatures were down in the 40's. It was also raining most of the time we were in Illinois and Indiana. My boasts of running on pretty college campuses, watching the students walk by with their backpacks and optimistic views of the future, were merely boasts. I found myself running in basements in student unions on treadmills.
But then we hit Maryland. On a cool sunny morning, temperatures in the 50's, I set out for my run. The trees with their changing leaves, the colonial brick buildings, the students with backpacks - they were all there. I was having so much fun it took me about 1/2 hour to figure out I had neglected to turn on my running watch and Ipod. I ran up hills and down into the central quad's fields. Just before I completed my run, I ran one lap on University of Maryland's outdoor running track. I felt like a college track star!
Much of life isn't exactly what you imagine. I imagined an intense 4 month training course for my NYC marathon. But I got injured Aug. 2 and spent the next 2 months unable to run. I'm only now gearing up as everyone else is tapering down. But just like everyone else, I'll line up at the starting line on the Verrazzano Narrows Bridge ready to give it my best shot. New York will be my Unviersity of Maryland.