Other than Willamette Park, I think that the Fairmount loop is my oldest running route. My dad started taking me with him to run it when I was around 11. I hardly ever run it though, and today I remembered why – it’s so fucking boring. I also ran the Hewett-Humphrey loop, making it a figure eight. The most insipid figure eight ever. There are one million curves, and every single one looks the same, and after about ten minutes I start thinking that every single curve is the last one. It never is.
Another issue I have with the figure eight is that it’sn’t (double contraction I just invented) particularly safe. Today I went ahead and ignored every single one of my book’s safety tips, and even left Pascal at home (though this was for his safety – I’ll get to that later). Then I wore my headphones and ran on the right side of the road so I could neither see nor hear traffic coming from behind – which is explicitly dangerous because most of the time there is literally no shoulder to speak of, when there is it’s covered in mud and old leaves that made it too squishy to run on without risking a turned ankle. Its only redemption is the fact that it’s really quiet, and you only see a car once every few minutes. However, this didn’t comfort me that much when I noticed a school bus on the road just half a second before it passed me, with only about six inches between us. I didn’t hear it because my music was too loud, and that point I thought to myself, “wow, I should really leave my headphones at home next time, just like my book told me to.” It was quite a bit longer before I had the realization that I could have stopped using them right then. That would have made my run even more boring though.
The bus non-incident was slightly more interesting than the rest of the run, but didn’t help much. I get this illogical urge to start walking when I’m on a really boring run. Not because I’m tired, but because I just get so sick of what’s happening at the moment that I want to walk, just to change things. It always takes a minute for me to register that running faster is what would actually improve the situation, while walking would do the opposite.
I also get angry when I run this route, because so many people walk/bike in huge groups, often with their dogs, and take up an entire lane of the road. It’s not a busy road, but there’s enough traffic that this is a dumb idea; it’s not unusual for two cars to come from opposite directions. I’m okay with putting myself in unnecessary danger, but I hate when people do that with their dogs, because the dogs don’t even have the choice of safety in those instances. And I’m very pro-choice.
Speaking of safety, I’ll leave you with the final reason I don’t like this run: there is an inordinate number of houses supported by stilts on these roads. I don’t care how many triangles you throw in those stilts, that does not look safe to me. Why wouldn’t you just put your house somewhere else, where you don’t have to build stilts first and then live in constant fear of mudslides? Also, one of the stilt houses smelled like weed, and one of them smelled like barbecue. Those things are unrelated to the safety issue. Although it is probably unsafe to do anything in stilt houses, including smoking weed and cooking barbecue.
I probably won’t do this run again until I forget how boring it is.
Miles run this week: 7
Miles run in 2010: 32