Reluctant Runners Series #3: On the Road Again


Published on July 3rd, 2013

Reluctant Runners- On the Road Again

For those of you just joining us on this reluctant runner’s journey, my name is Sharon, and I am a lukewarm runner. In addition, I’m a teacher, and right now is summer break for me. I’m a travel buff and novelty junkie, which means that a trip is on the horizon as soon as the final school bell rings for the year. Next week I’ll be jumping in a car with a friend for a road trip through the Pacific Northwest with a hazy itinerary and the promise of discovery. Now, before half of you stop reading because you didn’t sign up for a travel blog, let me promise you that we’re going to talk about running too. This is not a post about the virtues of the Napa valley or a review of the Seattle music scene. This is about the joy of discovery.

Running is a decidedly monotonous activity consisting solely of putting one foot in front of the other over and over again for three miles, five miles, or even 26 miles for anyone who is a glutton for punishment, um… I mean, a marathon runner. So, how do we sustain interest given the inherent monotony of the sport? How do we create and maintain a lifelong running habit?

For me, the key is novelty- the chance to go places and see things I ordinarily wouldn’t. It’s so easy in San Diego to rush from one place to the next, hopping from freeway to freeway to arrive as quickly as possible. But San Diego is like a treasure box, full of quaint little neighborhoods, leafy drives, dramatic coastlines, hidden beaches, curvy side streets, street fairs, mom-and-pop coffee shops, local parks, pedestrian bridges, and beautiful architecture. These are things we don’t get a chance to see from the freeways. They are things that we sometimes see as we cruise by in the car, but never get a chance to fully appreciate. By foot though, we have the chance to experience the city through another lens. We are free to meander wherever our interest takes us, to run down new streets, to discover new views, to feel the pleasure of seeing something for the first time. When we view running in this way, each run is like a small journey, a mini-day trip, a tiny vacation in the middle of our day. So take the challenge today- find a new route, run in a new neighborhood, take a detour, go where you have never gone before. Take the road less traveled. For a reluctant runner looking for motivation, that may make all the difference.

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