Today on NBCNEWS.com, there’s an article about how running in downtown areas make you stupid. I’ll sum up the article for those of you who don’t want to read it: in Belgium, a few people ran in the city and their brains became inflamed with pollution, decreasing brain plasticity. To avoid this, don’t run downtown, or only run downtown when it’s raining or when no cars are around.
I consider myself somewhat of an expert on running downtown (although not in Belgium), and so I feel obligated to provide my own insight on problems with running downtown:
- There are so many traffic lights. This means you’re always choosing between jaywalking, bringing your run to a 30 second halt every minute or so, or being one of those jerks that jogs in place. The last option is the worst one, don’t ever do that.
- All of the people walking super slowly on the sidewalks right in front of you. At least in Portland – maybe in New York everyone’s already frantically walking as fast as you would want to run anyway, so it’s not a problem. And maybe I don’t have a very good understanding of New York, but I hear that people walk much faster there. Do people run in downtown New York? Or do they just walk really fast? Power walk? Speed walk? Or are they just as unhurried/unemployed as people in Portland?
- Way too many people run downtown (again, at least in Portland), so nobody is very impressed by my running there. I prefer to go places where nobody else is running, so everyone is impressed. Places like retirement homes, or Beaverton (excluding the Nike part of Beaverton).
- Running around the bums. I was going to say that the bums are the good part about running downtown, because when you’re running they don’t have as much time to ask you for change, and it’s usually apparent that you probably don’t have any. However, when I consider the alternative, like running in the suburbs, there aren’t any bums to avoid or hop over at all.
Running downtown has its upsides of course, but my main intent with this post is to scare you away from running downtown. I don’t want any of my readers running around downtown and getting too stupid to understand my blog.
Downtown running aside, I apologize for my lazy blog-maintenance. As you can see, Pascal and I haven’t been as on-top of things as we usually are.
No way! Are you from Portland? I just moved there and live downtown and yes, downtown is a pain! Do you know of any close running trails?
Welcome to Portland! I am a born/raised Portlander, and yes there are a bunch of places to run from downtown. I’m sure you’ll soon discover Forest Park; look it up online, you can get to it from downtown easily, and there’s one million trails. One of my favorites is to drive up Thurman in NW to Leif Erickson. Have fun on your trail-finding adventures!