I didn’t mean to write yesterday’s post on starting with emotion on exercise, food, and habits. I meant to contrast how I like to exercise with how people who don’t exercise seem to and then to tell today’s story.
People who don’t exercise seem to characterize it as torture and dislike it. I see it as fun and rewarding. Sometimes it feels like torture, but only when I know the feeling of exhaustion to follow that I know I’ll appreciate more than I dislike the torture.
I love being fit. Today I’ll share a funny story about it.
Living by the Hudson River means I can run without having to stop at traffic lights in Hudson River Park, which the city has slowly been improving. Here are some pictures of it I found on the web. It’s beautiful in places and usable for running, cycling, skating, sunbathing, and so on.
While I hope to beat my personal best in this year’s marathon, I don’t try to optimize my training or get technical about it. I just go out and run. That’s what yesterday’s post was all about. Since I started by enjoying it, I just do it.
Part of just doing it means I never measured the distances, only estimated. From my home I can run south to where the park ends at a fountain. There and back is four miles. If I run north to a natural turn-around point at 45th Street, it’s five miles round-trip. I can keep going to another turn-around point at 54th for a six-mile run round-trip. If I run up 58th Street to Central Park, run a lap, and return home it’s about twelve or thirteen miles.
Usually I run north because it gives me the option to run as far as I want. Once I ran all the way to Columbia University and back along the river.
I save the south run for when I’m tired and don’t want to run as far since it’s only about four miles. For example, Saturday evening after my seminar I ran south since I led a group for six hours, which is exhausting.
Some people run with their phones and use apps to measure distance, time, etc. I can’t stand to have anything with me, especially not music. I just like the wind against my skin and keeping track of how my body feels. I like to push myself near the end of a run.
The other day I finally decided to check how far my runs are. A few web sites let you plot your route and tell you the distance.
It turns out the five-mile run I’ve been doing is actually just over 5.5 miles. Ten percent precision sounds good to me. I like that I’ve run farther than I thought.
How about that run to the south, the one I choose when I’m tired? I should mention Saturday after the seminar I ran with a friend who normally runs the six-mile loop of Central Park. We went north a little before deciding on the shorter run south. She was confused at how much more tired she felt after that four-mile run than running six-miles in Central Park.
Turns out it’s not four miles. It’s six miles! A 50% error. All my short runs haven’t been. They’ve been longer. When I meant to take it easy, I’ve pushed myself farther.
No wonder I could never figure out why those runs south took me so long.
Saturday, with that extra dash north before going south, we ran seven miles! Not four. No wonder she was more tired than running six miles.
Oh yeah, and that twelve-to-thirteen-mile run to and around Central Park and back? Fourteen and a half miles!
So it turns out I’ve been running extra lately. It makes me feel good about my physical condition that I can run 50% farther than I thought and feel good.
On another note
While yesterday I dismissed people getting too into workout gear, I did want clothes to run in cold weather, especially since marathon day averages in the low fifties and I’ve run in two ridiculously cold marathons.
As always I checked Goodwill and a thrift shop before getting something new. I found this awesome rad “compression” shirt for thirteen dollars! It fits like a glove, is super-comfortable, and makes me look and feel like a super-hero.
I never would have gotten it except that it was such a bargain. Online new it costs at least triple that.
And that I look so badass in it.
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