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The {second} best time of the year

Every year, when the leaves begin to change and I feel that first “snap” of cool weather in the air, I can’t help but get excited. Yes, summers at the beach are nice, but nothing quite compares to the beauty of changing leaves and sunny 60 degree days.

And while it doesn’t really hold a candle to Christmas time in my book, the season of fall (particularly the month of October) is about as close as a second place can get. Especially when it comes to fall in New England.

There are so many reasons why I love the month of October. But here are the top 6 that are getting me excited this year.

6.) Apple picking

Jaswell's Farm

It’s a simple fact of life that apples straight off a tree taste way better than any apple you can buy. Which is why apple picking is an important {ontherun} fall tradition. Every year EC and I have been going to the same place to pick as many apples as we can carry. I may be eating apple everything for weeks, but it’s worth it.

LB EC apple picking 2011

5.) Cooking comfort food

When the temperatures start to drop, my urge to cook and bake goes up – though admittedly not for anything light and healthy. Homemade marinara sauce, eggplant parmesan, apple pie with fresh picked apples – these are my fall staples.

And by staples, I mean that EC and I have made this a weekly tradition. Every Sunday we get together, attempt to make my dad’s marinara sauce (which is really my great Italian grandmother’s recipe) and a homemade pie.

Because you should start carbo-loading an entire month before your marathon, right?

DSCN1126.JPGThe problem with chopping your hair off is that you can’t take pictures from the year before and pretend they are current. Yes, I have long hair in this picture. But the apple pie making tradition hasn’t changed.

The problem with Italian family recipes is that there are never any exact measurements. Directions include a “pinch” of this and a “handful” of that. I think they do it on purpose – that way we’ll never be able to say that our version is as good as theirs.

But that just means I need to keep practicing. Good thing EC’s not complaining.

homemade marinara

4.) The iPhone 4S

I’ll admit it – I’m one of those Apple nerds who has been trolling the tech rumor sites, waiting for any information about the announcement of the new iPhone. My poor old phone has been dropped too many times (into food, I might add) to work properly anymore. I’ve resisted upgrading for months in the hopes that my patience would pay off. Today that day has finally come. You better believe I’ll be pre-ordering myself a shiny new 4S.

I just hope that I’ll find Siri helpful, and not incredibly creepy.

(PS. Why does Siri have the same voice as the woman in these videos??)

I am a Marathon Runner. I must hurry. (*warning – there is some explicit language near the end of the video*)

The incredibly sad part of all this is that the news came right along with the passing of Steve Jobs. There are lots of tributes to his life around the internet, but this one from Gizmodo is one of my favorites.


3.) Camping in Vermont


Every year, EC’s extended family gets together and spends Columbus Day weekend camping in Vermont. It’s their big family reunion filled with incredible views, amazing Vermont cheese, homemade pie, warm fires, and lots and lots of card playing. I’m so happy that they’ve let me be a part of this tradition.

Grafton Cheese co

There’s no better place on earth than Vermont in the fall.


2.) Race season

Admittedly, I’m only doing one race this month, but it’s a pretty big one. After a summer filled with racing, I thought it might be best to cut back a little bit. Absence makes the heart grow fonder right? Marine Corps Marathon is now only a few weeks away. As each day passes, I’m happy to report that I find myself getting more excited to be a part of “The People’s Marathon.”

On top of that, it’s fun to watch as so many other runners prepare for and run their own big races of the season. The entire month of October is buzzing with race excitement. It’s a runnerds dream.

1.) Perfect running weather

And the reason I love October most of all? The running weather. As soon as the humidity drops, it’s like the chains have been released from my legs and suddenly I can move again. There’s no better feeling than a run on a crisp October evening as the sun is setting.

On top of that, I can’t help but feel a little extra excited about running in general every time October rolls around – it’s ingrained in me. Because even though I’ve been out of college for years, I can’t get through the changing of the seasons without thinking about cross country. As soon as I feel the first chill in the air from the dropping humidity, my thoughts immediately go to the trails of XC practice, and I get butterflies in my stomach. I’m not sure how long it’ll be before that feeling fades. Hopefully it never well.


Good luck to those of you who are racing this weekend!

31 Responses to The {second} best time of the year

  1. I love apple picking and apple pie making and apple crisp making and everything! IT is just so good! A girl could gain some serious weight due to just fall foods! I guess that is why i run!
    J´s last post ..Essentials for a cold and dark run

  2. there’s no better place at any time of year than Vermont! But I appreciate the shout out. HAVE FUN!
    emily´s last post ..California, Here I come!

  3. i love that video. i’m literally wiping tears from my eyes!!!

    have you seen this one yet, it’s also hysterical: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cw5MHsO-JI8
    Kristy@RunTheLongRoad´s last post ..Random Thursday Thoughts

  4. we have to meet up during MCM weekend!
    Liz´s last post ..Chicago Marathon Goals

  5. Your pictures make me want to go to New England! I heart fall and agree it is def. PERFECT running weather!

  6. As a kid I always hated fall but I am definitely growing to love it. Christmas will always be my favorite but fall is really catching up
    Shannon @ Mon Amour´s last post ..The Benefits of Yoga

  7. All sounds so great except the camping… I’m not a fan of camping… :)
    Brittany´s last post ..Ode to the City of Trees

    • You should know that this is very cushy camping. As in, we stay in a camper with running water and electricity. So we won’t exactly be roughing it in the woods… :)

  8. I miss New England in the fall! I never go home in the fall but I’m hoping to eventually run the MDI Marathon which is near my hometown.

    My husband, our two friends and I are going apple picking this weekend, I’m excited! I will have to think of some apple things to make so that they don’t go bad, though.
    Jamie @ couchtoironwoman´s last post ..Lessons Learned Tonight

  9. I love the beginning of Fall, too. Though Fall in Charlotte is nothing like the northeast. We sadly don’t have beautiful, changing leaves. Sniff sniff.

    And omg that video! There’s an Ironman one too that cracks me up.

    Have a wonderful weekend in Vermont! It looks gorgeous!
    Jen´s last post ..How I’m still running in the third trimester

  10. Totally agree with all of the above! Fall is the best season, too bad it is so short. :) I also find myself wanting to cook more once the weather cools down!

  11. “Because you should start carbo-loading an entire month before your marathon, right?”

    YES. Yes I should. Right?

    I’m currently trying to decide which iPhone to get. My 3GS still works fine (although, I’m definitely running out of space – it’s only 8GB) – but I need the 4S, don’t I?

    Enjoy the apple farm — I really miss doing that!
    Michelle @ Crazy*Running*Legs´s last post ..Five Quote Friday

  12. Did you see Boing Boing on the day Steve Jobs died? They changed their whole design to mimic the original Mac OS Interface. There’s a screenshot of it on the website in case you missed it – it was very cool (and sad).

    And apple picking is one of my favourite activities too! Though we are moving out of apple season (which makes me sad) but into strawberry season (which makes me happy). Autumn food is the best though!

  13. Where in Vermont do you go? I went to college in Burlington.
    Lee´s last post ..October Photography Challenge

  14. I LOVE FALL, TOO! My hometown always looks like an LL bean catalog in the fall.

    Tragedies of my life: I’ve never been apple picking nor made an apple pie. We don’t have apple picking where I live, just pumpkin patches and corn mazes. Maybe a trip to RI is due?!

  15. Also, forgot to mention another thing I love about fall – wearing patagonia fleeces. For some reason, fall to me says fleeces, vests, scarves, and jeans. I don’t know why.
    Meggie´s last post ..What’s Up Wednesday

  16. I miss new England falls! Here in Florida the weather is finally getting nice. We are done with the humidity and now it’s only in the low 80’s, wohoo! haha I don’t think we will have real “fall” feeling weather until January!
    Christina´s last post ..Fridays and french fries

  17. I agree with you, this is the best time of the year, right after Christmas and Thanksgiving! I hate on the Northeast all winter long, but in the fall, I really think there’s no better place to be!
    Liz (Little Bitty Bakes)´s last post ..Frozen Candy Corn Mousse

  18. hahahah i love the video. oh gosh i have to show this one to aaron he is going to crack up. that is totally me, which i am sure everyone says, right? anyway, i have never done the vermont thing we always go to NH but it looks just as beautiful. will have to add it to my list. i will be trying to make me way through a 20 mile race, we will see, first 20 miler…ehh lol. can’t wait for MCM. trying to figure out this meet up dinner thing. i have no issues planning i just don’t know the area at all…
    Stephanie´s last post ..Happy Fall Friday & First Blogger Award

  19. Cute post Lauren!!! And I even forgot about the short hair until you called it out! I sadly never got around to making apple pie or apple crisp this year : ( I hope yours have been delicious. Have fun in VT this weekend. And just when you thought the weather was cooling down, we have 80 degrees today! Oh joy!
    Lizzy´s last post ..Running is Boring.

  20. As much as I am sad to see summer go, I do love training in the fall. It is beautiful and the weather is absolutely perfect. I miss XC too. Fall brings back all of those great memories. I would add one more thing to why fall is a great time of year, PUMPKIN!!! I love cooking and eating all things pumpkin :) Have a great weekend and happy training!
    Nancy@triathletestrials´s last post ..Race Weekend!!

  21. I just read an article about a study that claimed the average apple in the grocery store is about ten months old! That’s why they taste so much better straight off the tree :) I’m so excited for fall racing season too. I have my heart set on a sub-twenty 5k by turkey trot time! (Your sub-twenty post totally inspired me :)

  22. Sounds like you’ve been having some wicked great times!! I’ve seen the triathlete version of those videos- so funny!! and true :) jk but really…

  23. that video is HILARIOUS. I’m sending it to my sister, who always tells me multiple times how badly I smell when she’s in town and I get back from a run. Someone just brought me some apples from apple picking and I’m excited to eat them. Sadly, I’ve never been apple picking myself! Gah. Hooray for fall and perfect running weather!
    Kelly´s last post ..Progress & Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

  24. I love October!! As sad as I am to see summer go, I love things like apple picking and pie baking. Spending Sunday evening making tomato sauce and baking pies sounds pretty perfect…Hopefully it will start to feel more like Fall later this week!
    Megan (The Runner’s Kitchen)´s last post ..Brooklyn FTW

  25. I agree, October is beautiful running weather!!
    ChocolatePBCups´s last post ..What makes you smile?

  26. AHHH the new iPhone, I need it too and have been bargaining with the husband 😉

    I bet fall there is SO PRETTY. I have always wanted to go to the east coast in the fall and see all the leaves <3
    Aron´s last post ..DNS

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