Hey everybody, it’s your favorite running podiatrist, Nick Pagano, back from a hiatus.
It was a nice day to run yesterday with a nice chill in the air at 8 AM, a perfect day to log in some miles at Valley Green. I usually use this blog to discuss foot problems, but every once in a while, the runner dork in me comes out.
Valley Green is a beautiful, secluded stretch that runs through the heart of Philadelphia. It’s a stone and dirt path with plenty of trails that attract photographers, runners, walkers, dogs, and fishermen. Valley Green is a good place to get lost and is a sacred place to me. Fifteen years ago, my love affair with the Green began. Every Tuesday for four years, Coach Charles Torpey would torture me with tempo run workouts. Then, the rest of the week, me and the other La Salle University harriers would include this path in our team runs. Lots of miles and lots of memories.
One unknown sport that developed during the autumn college days is the ancient art of “Leaf Catching.” Catching leaves mimics life. There are simple rules to catch a leaf just like there is to living life:
1. You have to have the awareness and knowledge of how to catch a leaf. It is not a swipe or a grab, it is a simple closure of all your fingers at the right moment.
2. You have to be in the right place at the right time. These leaves haphazardly fall and flop around. Even when you have one at the right level of your hand, that doesn’t guarantee success.
3. You gotta have a little luck. I was never good at catching these leaves. But every once in a while I’d get lucky. On my run this past Saturday, I turned my focus to leaf catching (because I was dragging) and didn’t catch a single leaf until 1/2 mile to go. Where did I catch it: In my elbow??!!?? Hey, but that is rule #3: A little luck.
So when you are out on your runs this fall, take in the foliage, but also take up a new sport. Leaf catching will spice up your run, and it will make time go by a little faster. Let’s be a honest, sometimes those long runs suck.
Enjoy this fall running, it really is the best time to train in the Mid Atlantic area. Make sure your shoes aren’t shot, stretch appropriately, don’t over train, and have a great time!