September 27, 2011

Running in circles

It is taper time. The two or three weeks before a marathon when you dial back the number of miles you run to rest up for the main event. It is also the period when you have much more time to obsess and talk about running. So here we are.

I ran my second 20 miler a little over a week ago. Not that I need to tell you this, but 20 miles is a long way. At times I have entertained the thought of just running out my door, running for 20 miles, and seeing where I'd end up. When I saw how far I was from home, it would probably feel even farther. Seeing it in this perspective, it would be tough to imagine going another 6.2 miles on any day. And course I would need to get a ride home.

More practically, I end up running a series of loops. This not only allows me to finish where I started, but I can also stop by my car and refill my water bottles. Of course every time I pass by the car, there is the temptation to stop and call it a day. The multiple loop plan does give me ample chance to practice not quitting.

But running the same circles over and over can get a little boring, even in beautiful San Diego. After so many repetitions, you tend to zone out and the details fade.

The last few weeks I have been running the loops in the opposite direction, and it is amazing all the new things I have seen. Even running on the other side of the street seems to make a difference, but running counter when you normally run clockwise, you get to see things from another perspective. Even though I am looking at the same scenery, everything looks a little different from the opposite point of view.

There is a metaphor in there somewhere. Maybe members of Congress should go for a run together.

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