Running up, over and through the cogs

Reverse That Rut: Go from Routine to Adventure with Just One Open Mind

No matter how fanatical the runner, there are going to be days when getting out and logging the long miles seems to be a daunting and taxing task.  Like today.

Having stayed out late (it was New Year’s after all), I didn’t roll out of bed until 11 a.m. — it happens like once a year, I swear — and a quick look out the window revealed a dreary, gray sky with trees bent sideways from 40 mph hour winds.  Ugh.  Not only that, but the temperature was 32 degrees, so the signature Chicago whirlwinds would only make it feel colder.

Did I mention I was out late?

Two weeks away from the Houston Marathon, I had to get out and get 16 miles on the books, no matter how shitty the weather.  But it was going to take some creativity to make it fun.  So I decided to make it… AN ADVENTURE RUN!

For me, the adventure run is a cure-all for the doldrums of routine.  And it can be done anywhere: on trails, in the city, on a country road.  The only requirement is that you open your mind.

Let go of split times.  Forget that headwind.  Embrace your chaffed nipples.

Just get out there and run!

When I decide to go on an adventure run, I disassociate myself from all the “business” of running.  I leave the watch at home.  I go only by feel.  I run in whatever direction pulls me at any given time.  I turn when I feel like turning and I stop if I feel like stopping.  I allow curiosity and exploration to motivate my legs and forget about everything else.

Most of all, I connect with that innate love I have for just RUNNING.  I focus on that childlike playfulness, to go out and discover new worlds, new people, new things.

And today was quite the adventure.  Sure it was windy.  And cold.  And dreary.  But I had the time of my life, discovering new neighborhoods I’d never seen before while running from Sox Park to Wrigley Field and all the way back, turning on whims and smelling all the proverbial roses I wanted, when I wanted.

Having done all that, I now have my feet kicked up with a smile on my face.  I feel fresh.  Recharged.  Fulfilled.

I went on an adventure run today.  And I had a helluva time.

5 responses

  1. That is my favorite kind of run. Though I haven’t done that many miles in a LONG time.

    Have you read Born To Run? That seems like a book that’s right up your alley. You’ve probably heard of it already.

    January 3, 2012 at 15:31

  2. Read it? Heck yeah, brotha! In fact, I met Scott Jurek this past October and he signed my copy (pics of us together on the old FB). Prior to reading it I was already planning my entry into the ultra distances, but after, the idea became concrete.

    January 3, 2012 at 15:45

  3. It’s on my to-read list. My tri-athlete brother-in-laws were reading it over the holidays. We were talking about it after one of them was telling me why they had stopped eating most meat as part of a diet overhaul to try and improve their times. I may bump this one to the top of my ever-growing to-read list.

    January 3, 2012 at 18:13

  4. There hasn’t been any research proving that a vegetarian/vegan diet will improve your times, but it is a very healthy way to make sure one pays good attention to his diet, which may influence them. I eat meat, but mostly lean cuts and a whole lot of fish. I’ve been down the veggie road… but in the end, I need bacon at least once a month or else I die. PS, the book is fantastic! Read it in one night!

    January 3, 2012 at 18:56

  5. I think he eats fish, he just doesn’t consider that meat (which I NEVER understand how people think that). I think he’s going the easily digestible route. Bacon isn’t meat. It’s manna from heaven. I don’t eat meat, but every once in a blue moon I eat bacon. On a veggie burger. That’s right. Yeah, I bought the book. Gonna read that shit fast.

    January 4, 2012 at 12:41

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