Monday, October 11, 2010

Songs for the Fall Season

10/10/10 was Marathon Sunday in Chicago. I had been anticipating the day with anxiety for more than a month, not because I was running the marathon but because I wasn’t. I ran the marathon in 2009 and the feeling of accomplishment when I finished was intoxicating. To work so hard to achieve something so big was unbelievable. I have told countless people that I could never get as lucky with the weather as I was last year- 30s at the start and 40s at the finish. Although it wasn’t much fun for the spectators (sorry about your frostbite, Dad), it was glorious for the runners.

While I was apparently in some state of intoxication (running or otherwise), I decided to sign up to run the marathon again in 2010. I was a veteran, so I knew I could do it, but this year I wanted to do it better than I did the first time. Last year the training essentially took over my life; this year, not so much, which may have been part of the problem. Last year I obsessed about my runs; this year I missed one here and there, was a mile or so short of my targets on long runs and wasn’t diligent about my day of cross training each week. When I started to have pain in my left leg that got worse with each run, I rested but panicked about the training I was missing. When I tried to jump back in, the pain would get worse again until I finally saw a doctor. The prescription: rest. That was it for me; I simply could not miss that much training and have a chance of successfully getting back in. While I was disappointed, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t also a little relieved to regain some free time. But I was still dreading Marathon Sunday and the fact that I wouldn’t be participating.

Sunday morning, I woke up at 7 a.m., turned on the t.v. to start watching the coverage, and set up my computer to track my friends and coworkers who were running. No runner was happy about the predicted high temperatures. As the morning wore on and the checkpoint times popped up, I could tell that this would not have been a successful day for me, which brought me a bit of peace.

I think the only people who weren’t celebrating the weather this weekend were probably runners. For everyone else, Chicago experienced the most amazing fall weather. With the colors starting to pop out and the warm weather putting everyone in a good mood, I was inspired to compile some songs about the season.

The most challenging part of this post has not been collecting the songs but getting the darn picture, which I thought would be easy. Sunday afternoon, I walked out into the front yard, assuming I could easily snap a picture of a yellow or red tree, but I wasn’t quite satisfied with my results. I decided to head to the park on my bike and was joined by my 14-year old son. The park also didn’t do it for me, so I suggested a path that I knew would feel like riding through what I hoped would be a colorful tree tunnel. I forgot that 14-year old boys are like little ninjas on their bikes, and they also do not have a fully developed sense of fear, so the “shortcut” we took probably could have ended up getting me arrested for trespassing. A mother should know better than to be led around closed gates to get somewhere- twice. We also roamed the grounds surrounding the nearby convent, which my son refers to as the Nunnery. He is dying to catch a glimpse of a nun and is fascinated by the basketball court and swimming pool- I guess he’s hoping to spot a game of nun pick-up ball or a nun pool party. No such luck, nor with the trees, and he finally ditched me, declaring me “too picky”. I headed for the Prairie Path, snapping a couple more pictures. What did I end up using? The tree in my front yard. Oh well, without running the marathon it was basically my only exercise of the day.

Here is my list of songs for the season, inspired by sun, color, months and the season itself (admittedly, some are a bit of a stretch- there aren't that many songs about fall, turns out). Enjoy!

• “Waitin’ on a Sunny Day” – Bruce Springsteen
• “Fall in Boston” – Chris Bentliff
• “Yellow” – Coldplay
• “Autumn Leaves” – Eric Clapton
• “Pale September” – Fiona Apple
• “Colors” – Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
• “Wake Me Up When September Ends” – Green Day
• “Waiting for the Sun” – The Jayhawks
• “Yellow Sun” – Raconteurs
• “In the Sun” – She & Him

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  1. I recently started running but I am terrible at it. Finishing even 1 event like that is amazing!

  2. Get some good tunes to help you along!