When your fall races yield finishing times that are similar to your spring efforts, when your training pace and distances are comparable to your efforts at the beginning of the season, when you don’t feel the need to back off for a few weeks after the road-racing season is over, you should reconsider your running commitment. Of course, if you’re like most, you think there’ll always be a next year…until there’s not.
For the competitive runner, all of the hard training has come down to this, the final weeks of the road-racing season. In the northern hemisphere, summer’s heat has passed, so the same effort today yields a faster time. Some are clinging to the idea “if my body can just hold out a little longer, maybe I can push my luck and extend the season to include a Turkey Trot. Or better yet, maybe I can push the envelope and make it to a Jingle Bell race.” Meanwhile, the ache in some folks’ legs are causing them to question their sanity at running another marathon, after swearing that last year’s was ‘the final one.’ Though anticipating a well-deserved respite to back off and let the body recover, the end of the season can be bittersweet for those who set running goals and work hard to achieve them.
Regardless of your attitude toward running, another season is drawing to a close; another racing season is almost in the bank. It’s in the crisp autumn air.
“It’s better to burn out than it is to rust” – Neil Young