Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Why I used to hate running

During this morning's run I thought about the reasons why I used to be so negative about running. Back in the early '90's I would get up and do a daily run through the streets of NYC, come back, shower and head to work. Those days I was working at a newspaper that published six editions, the first going out at 8:00 PM and the last around 3:30 AM. I'm not sure when I slept because I was often in the office by 11:00 AM and I didn't usually get home until 4:00 AM. With a run between sleep and work it could have been a positive thing but trying to make progress through the city streets at 9:30 AM on a business day was often frustrating if not dangerous.

Looking back, the other reason I think I disliked running is that I never mastered the use of aerobic energy. Most of my runs were collections of sprints punctuated by stoplights where I'd run in place waiting for the cross signal. In between the experience was somewhat like trail running except instead of dodging branches I'd be dodging foot traffic, strollers, dogs on leashes and cars doing illegal lefts on red. I'd return to my apartment each time asking myself what it was that I enjoyed about this routine. Eventually I stopped altogether and now when I think about it, for good reason.

I finished my 2.55 mile run this morning in a little over 22 minutes. I realized during this run that my ability to balance aerobic and anaerobic energy has made a big difference in my enjoyment of running. It's not always easy and sometimes it's quite hard but I never return home questioning why I run.

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