Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A run through the neighborhood right up my alley - and elsewhere

I’ve never been a runner. I never understood how people could possibly run and even find it enjoyable. My husband started running six years ago and I thought he was crazy too. For some odd reason I decided to try running again this spring. And guess what? I’ve found that I like to run!
However, the conditions have to be right. Yes, I am fickle.

I’ve found out what I don’t like, and I don’t like treadmill running. All I can do on the treadmill is fixate on the blinking red dot going around the track oh-so-slowly until I get my requisite time in. I fiddle with the speed; I speed up, I slow down, I hope I don’t fall. Then when I get off I careen back and forth trying to get used to a surface that isn’t moving anymore.

I feel like if I’m going to run, I want to go somewhere, see something, see the ground I’m covering.

So here’s what I do like: I like running through my neighborhood. To me it seems like the best place to run. This spring I’ve breathed deep the heady perfume of flowering shrubs and seen places I just don’t walk to.

The routes I can take are endless—an alley here, a sidewalk there, and the grassy area surrounding a tiny old cemetery tucked between a school and commercial buildings. I notice the juxtaposition of the well kept homes and outbuildings and those that need some love. I hear the sound of my feet hitting the pavement in time with the music on my iPod as I notice the clock tower of the courthouse looming ahead of me at the end of the alley. This is where love of my neighborhood and finding a love of running meet.

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