Fall is here!
I would have published a post on Wednesday, but I was too busy buying caramel apples. Caramel apples are one of my favorite ways to ring in fall. Priorities, people!
One of my other favorite ways to ring in fall is by cresting the peak of marathon training. Tomorrow, I’ll be doing the longest run of my training cycle, and a month from now, I’ll be boarding a plane to Washington, D.C. Final destination? The Marine Corps Marathon.
!!! Insert high-pitched dolphin-like squeaks of excitement here!!!
A new season seems like such a fitting time to begin tapering. I’ll miss the summer a little – it was a great one, after all – and I’ll miss the mileage build-up a little. Weird as it sounds, in these next weeks I’ll savor every minute of wearing my compression socks, every foam-rolling session, and yes, every drop of Gu, because I know that in a flash, the marathon will have come and gone. Life will move on, and so will fall. Heck, by the time I return to running after the requisite post-marathon recovery, we’ll be out of Daylight Savings Time.
Marathon training aside, I’m learning to embrace the transitional seasons more and more with each year. And this fall brings two new kinds of transitions for me.
One: my name is changing! Yeah, I know, I got married three months ago, but I’m finally jumping through the legal hoops to get my new last name. I visited the social security office earlier this week. Next stop: MVD (a.k.a. DMV) for a shiny new driver’s license. This ball is rolling!
Does it feel weird, this transition? Of course it does; I was a Banks for 34 years. But I’m telling myself that I’m not losing any part of my identity. Rather, my identity is growing. See? That sounds better. Not to mention when I pick up a pen and sign “Shannon Sapp,” it looks like “Shannon Jazz,” which makes me happy.
Two: I’m turning into a hunter. I’m still definitely, definitely a novice, but a hunter nonetheless. I told you about my squirrel a couple of weeks ago, and it may not seem very impressive, especially to you experienced hunters out there, but it gave me a huge confidence boost. Just in time, too – over the next month, I’ll be practicing with significantly higher-powered firearms, because my next live target will be significantly larger than a squirrel. It will be an elk. I intend to go about this hunt the right way, which means practice and more practice.
Practice + practice + practice = experience = respect for what you’re doing = confidence in what you’re doing = confidence in yourself.
Marathon training and getting ready for a hunt aren’t so different, are they?
It’s time to let go of summer. Bring on marathon tapering. Bring on a new name. Bring on target practice. Bring on harvest festivals and the aroma of roasting green chiles and Balloon Fiesta and cooler weather.
Bring on fall!
p.s. To anyone else running the Marine Corps Marathon: May your last long runs be great and your taper peaceful 🙂