It’s finally fall in Texas! The air is crisper, the leaves are beginning their shift of color, some have started coating the sidewalks, and the sun, the hot and terrible Texas sun is losing some of its intensity. This month we still experienced a wide range of temperatures, but overall Austin is cooling off. Our days start with fall temperatures, then gradually warm up to spring weather, and when the sun sets we end in winter. So just like last month, you have to be dressed in layers that you can easily shed and put back on throughout the day. The best part about November though is that we never go above 80 degrees, so running at any time of day is comfortable. If I thought running in October was good, then running in November is absolutely wonderful. Because of this, I went on a gazillion runs outside this months, so instead of focusing in on a few key runs, I’m going to generalize my experiences at the two different locations.
Last month, at both Bull Creek and St. Edward’s University campus, the leaves had already begun their shift in color, showing some shades of yellows and browns amidst the canopy of green, but this month there were deeper shades of oranges and reds coloring my run. There’s a point in my run at Bull Creek that I run in the dried up creek, which takes me to the edge of a trickling waterfall. From this spot I can see the stretch of trees lining the river, and they were a magnificent golden color as far as the eye could see. The trees at St. Edward’s are a little late to the game, but you can see the shades of fall slowing taking root here as well.
As if the beautiful colors weren’t enough to convince you to go for a run outside, the weather will. I went on several early morning and late night runs at St. Edward’s, and took advantage of Bull Creek in the late afternoon or early evening, and every time I went running it was around a perfect 65 degrees. Every time I ran in yoga pants and a t-shirt or shorts and a jacket and felt perfect. There was no suffocating in humidity or passing out of heat. There was one evening that I went running late at night right as a cold-front came in to campus, for which I had to bundle up a bit more. That night the air was crisp in my lungs and my nose turned red, but I felt as if I could run forever. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to go for a run and not stop until your legs give out instead of letting the weather dictate how long you can stay outside.
The noises of fall are beautiful too. In the summer and the heat there’s a nervous buzzing to the trees and the grass. The world is alive and growing. In the fall however, there’s a peaceful quite all around. There are less pesky bugs to bite and crawl all over you, the animals are saving up food and energy for the coming winter, and the fallen leaves coating the ground pad my running footsteps. Whereas the summer is filled with buzzing energy, the fall is filled with a calm that extends beyond nature and calms me. With the short break of Thanksgiving coming to an end, the stress of the last week of school and finals next week is quickly setting in, and I know that I’ll be taking a lot of running study breaks to calm my nerves and steady my mind.
(Here’s a map of one of my Bull Creek runs in case the google map doesn’t work)