45 degree weather never felt so good as it did this past Saturday as I ran in the last cross country race of the season in Sewanee, Tennessee. Yes, I am quite in the same mind as Mary about winter weather and cold and gloom and all that, but coming from Dallas (same old sun and 80 degree weather), I was completely exhilarated by the fall weather.
On Friday afternoon, my cross country team and I flew out of the DFW airport, and touched down again just a few hours later in Chattanooga, TN, in weather that I would typically dub horrid. It was cool, gray, and rainy. And absolutely gorgeous. I wore a sweater! After dinner in a beautiful renovated train station, the team and I explored a little.
We all ended up on one of those famous Chattanooga Choo-Choos (do you know that song? I do-thank you high school choir!)
Soon enough it was off to bed, and morning came early. Well, relatively. Although both of my roommates at the hotel set alarms along with me, not one of us woke up. We ended scrambling down to the bus with breakfasts in our hands.
The course for the race was absolutely beautiful. We were running on the campus of Sewanee College, “The College of the South”. It didn’t look southern at all, though.
There were little stone cottage-like houses for the students, and everywhere there were trees in the height of their autumnal beauty. I expected to see smoke rising from the tiny chimneys, and missed our chubby black woodstove back home. (We had a very close relationship-I have the burn marks to prove it).
We got out and ran our warm-up, and boy, did most of the UDers need it! It was quite brisk out, even for a Wisconsinite. I stretched and simultaneously posed for pictures quite nonchalantly, so cool in my head band from my little brother, James.
And then we were off! Running up and around and crunching over the glorious fall leaves, breath frosting the air before our cold noses. I didn’t run the fastest race of my life, but in the end it didn’t matter. I was just happy to be there with my team and doing something I love. Our team ended up getting 9th out of 10 at the Conference meet, but we still had the heart to celebrate. The world is beautiful, especially when there are maples leaves to throw in the air under a sunny fall sky.