Thursday, September 20, 2012

I love running, but do I actually love the run?

Race walking: not the best of both worlds 
Today's run (street): 2.5 miles

Back in the early '90's I lived in the city and walked just about everywhere that I needed to go. It would be nothing for me to cover 20 miles or more on a weekend. My wife is exactly the same. We'd walk 90 minutes a day back and forth between our office and our apartment on 74th Street despite rain, snow, heat or humidity. It kept us in great shape and it was easy because we both enjoyed the experience.

I thought about that on my run this morning as I made my way around my regular route. I was pushing myself harder than I had prior to re-employing my heart rate monitor and my resulting pace reflected that extra effort. I was pleased with my performance, but it occurred to me that the enjoyment of a hard run comes when you're finished, while a brisk walk is usually enjoyed in the moment.

I'm not saying that I don't enjoy a good run. When I'm on the trails I can really appreciate the experience with all five senses (well maybe not taste) and I do appreciate the feeling I get when doing an easy run on a crisp fall morning. It would be interesting if I could enjoy every run the way I do when I walk.

On the other hand, the sense of accomplishment, endorphin rush and the athleticism that comes from a run is something that cannot be easily attained by walking. I suppose race walking could fill that void but, frankly, it just seems a bit silly.

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