There’s a great Adidas ad in the July issue of Runner’s World: a background of pavement with two running shoes, the back of one and the top of the other. The image evokes two runners in line. The tag line is “Because I’m loving every wonderful horrible minute of this.” So true. I’m probably the 50 millionth runner to conclude that running is fun because it’s hard but it’s also fun to see that sentiment recognized by others. Even if it’s in an ad.
Last week I came across a book in the library by a British author named Russell Taylor. The title of the book is “The Looniness of the Long Distance Runner.” This title is obviously homage to
“The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner” by Ian Sillitoe but the book is actually a diary of writer as he prepares to run the New York Marathon. The format of the book reminds me of my own blog with its daily (or, in his case, not daily) accounting of workouts and progress. He’s a lot funnier than me and his one year plan to go from being an out of shape late 30’s aged guy to a marathon runner is more ambitious than my modest goals. Reading the book does remind me of the obligation one takes to remain fit and to keep progressing. But we do it because – to borrow from the Adidas copywriter –
we love every wonderful horrible minute.
This morning I rounded out my holiday weekend running with a 4.7 mile run that (not counting when I take a car) took me farther outside my neighborhood than ever before. I intended to explore neighborhood #4 and then make my way over to neighborhood #2 but I reached a point where I could run along the sidewalk of a relatively busy road that would lead to a new series of neighborhoods in Woodbury. The sidewalk on this main road was covered with dead leaves that had a cushioning effect not unlike cinders. I enjoyed the respite from the pavement when I could. I turned into one neighborhood and realized that we had looked at houses on the street before we bought the one that we’re in. I ran by the house and decided we’d made the right decision because the neighborhood we chose is much better for running.
Yesterday I took our bikes out of the shed for the first time this millennium and after pumping up the tires, fixing the chains and washing them off they were ride ready. I took my bike out a couple of times, the second time I followed one of my running routes. It was amazing to cover that distance in a fraction of the time with a fraction of the effort. Fun but not the horribly wonderful experience I get from running.