26 April 2011

what i miss about running outside

It has been raining for approximately 40 days.

This is an exaggeration, I know, but it's starting to feel true, and it felt especially true this morning.

It's light enough outside by 6:00—maybe even earlier because there's a zippy thrill in running in just-barely light—for me to run out there.

However, and this is perhaps me being a running wimp, I don't like starting a run in the rain. If it starts raining while I'm out there, fine. It's an adventure, a challenge, a joy: it's however I want to spin it that day to make myself keep running. {Usually the logic that works best is: If you stop, it will take longer to get home.}

So I've been running inside, and today, on my 20th lap around the track at the gym, I thought about what I miss about running outside.

Sure, there's the sun. The breeze. The crunch of gravel. The smell of barbecue {okay, that applies later in the summer and not at 6:00am, obviously}.

There's seeing the shadows lengthen and watching my own shadow stretch away from me.

Yes, there's all that to running outside.

But what I miss most about running outside is being able to spit.

There is nothing quite like that rush of spitting while you're running, although I do not under any other circumstances advocate this. In other circumstances, spitting is disgusting. Think tobacco or insulting someone by spitting on them or teenagers spitting off bridges.

But in running, you're free. You can spit and it's part of the sport.

Unless you're inside on your 20th lap, and oh, how I miss spitting.

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