The Anti-Run Run

20 Aug

Sometimes, I need a break from running.  From following a schedule (not that I’m too good about that) and trying to mix long runs and speed workouts and hill sprints and track drills (not that I’m too good about that).  If it were up to me, I’d tie on running shoes every morning and head out for a long run.  But things like sleep and homework and aches and pains always get in the way.

Sometimes, I need a break from running.  And the best way to get a break from running is to run.

Pleasure running.  No watch, no GPS, no carefully calculated mileage and pace, no companions, no ambitions, just me and running gear and running shoes.  There’s freedom in being able to go slow or fast, go left or right, go long or short.

Normally, I prefer to run near bodies of water or anything scenic.  Mountains, bridges, lakes, parks – I’ll take it all. But this evening, I found myself running around the Fens, lapping twice around the long silent pool owned by “those Mary Baker Eddy people” (as someone on my run put it) and then dashing through the psychedelic fountains full of splashing toddlers and dogs, behind the Prudential Center, around Copley Square, on to Newbury St, past my fellow baseball fans just straggling into Fenway Park.

I breathed easy. Occasionally I put on a burst of speed and ran hard. I slowed down at the thought of the foam roller waiting for me at home. I sped up when a dog starting yipping at my heels. I watched the sun set and the city settle into dusk and then darkness.  Street lights came on, outdoor patios lit up with candles, apartment lights emanated a cozy glow.  The cool breeze helped me forget it was August – forget about the past week of horrifically hot and humid lunchtime runs.

And when I came back, I was ready to run again.

I love when it works like that.

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