What a joy it is to run this way. No longer do I go out and worry about having a heart attack. I run like a hike, long and easy, steady not painful, breathing in life not breathing for my life. I’ve hiked plenty, gone for hours on end, never once did I fear my knees were getting arthritic from use or I’d collapse from exhaustion. I hiked for the sheer pleasure of it, it was walking to me, a jaunt in the woods, a lap around the mountain. Like Moses or Ghandi I walked, I could do it forever. And now that is how I run.
I’ve decided to run like a hiker. When I go hiking, I don’t count the miles, I just like being outside and I want to be out long enough to enjoy it. That usually means at least a half an hour, and when I drive to a hiking place, that means at least an hour. Sometimes I go out all day. That’s quite a bit different than how I usually run. As a runner, I tend to go out for a certain amount of miles and a time that reflects my current abilities. It’s more of an exercise, a workout, something I do for my physcial fitness. I’d rather enjoy my time outdoors, do enough so I can be part of the world, not count miles, but savor the time I’m spending. This means that I will be flipping over the way I run, from short and fast, I’ll be focusing on time spent and the best way for my body to handle the extra work. From counting the stopwatch down to counting up, from short quick bursts to long jaunts, this will be a major change. This will probably mean I’ll choose different paths, maybe more trails, more cross country routes. I suppose it means I’ll be more of an endurance athlete and it will take me away from the track. The track has it’s place, however. I enjoy the track and I don’t know why intervals aren’t a valuable way to spend your time. We’ll see.