Boring Running Sucks

This is the run I did yesterday in Phoenix:

Straight up, straight down the Greenway in Scottsdale.
Straight up, straight down the Greenway in Scottsdale.

Now, that is some boring fucking shit. I went north down this sidewalk/bike path, turned around, went south to Tempe, turned around.

Maybe this is the kind of run lots of people do all the time. But, I generally run on trails, really interesting trails. Whenever I see someone shuffling around a neighborhood, I always think, “Well, no wonder people hate working out.”

Unfortunately, I’ve been doing a lot of boring runs. Partially, my favorite trails up at the watershed — if you ever come to Marin, run around Bon Tempe, Lagunitas or Phoenix lakes — don’t lend themselves to concentrated and focused training. That has combined with the fact that I’ve been busy and sick(ish) and trying to cram runs in.

(Also, I do all my tempo up and down the old road/bike path that parallels Lucas Valley Road. It’s 1.5 miles from where the trailhead spits you out to the light at the end of the road, with about 90 feet of elevation over that — and you can feel every foot of that elevation gain when you’re doing 5K pace efforts. By the time Boston comes, I’ll have worn a goddamn trench into that path, but right now I’m too focused on not throwing up to get bored. So, that’s a plus.)

With everything, l’ve had to run the six-mile loop around my neighborhood, circle around the mall, past the high school, so many times in the last few weeks that the thought of it makes me want to start slamming my head into a wall.

That means I have had to bust out the iPod.

I don’t generally run with music, because generally if you’re either running trails or hard tempo up and down the bike path there are other things you’re paying attention to. Besides, I figure, you can’t race with music, so why get used to a crutch? But, if it wasn’t for the iPod, I might not have been able to finish my run yesterday and I probably would have stopped at the mall on my neighborhood loop last week and gone shopping instead.

Can you be unable to finish a run because of boredom? Like, instead of my legs gave out or I couldn’t breathe, I just got too bored.

I don’t use my iPod that much; it’s one of those old shuffles that’s twice as big and cost twice as much as the ones you can buy now. And, it’s filled with whatever songs I put on it six years ago. Every now and then I think about changing the songs, but since I only use it 2-3 times a year, it’s more like an seeing an old friend every time I put it on. Besides why would I want to change these gems:

Songs I Run To:

  • Satisfaction — The Rolling Stones
  • She Hates Me — Puddle of Mud
  • Boulevard of Broken Dreams — Green Day
  • You’re So Damn Hot — OK Go
  • What I Like About You — The Clash
  • Born to Run — Bruce Springsteen
  • Superman — Five for Fighting
  • This is Me — The Saw Doctors
  • Superman — Lazlo Bane
  • Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous — Good Charlotte
  • I’m Only Happy When it Rains — Garbage
  • ABC — Jackson 5
  • You Oughta Know — Alanis Morissette (listen to the vocal-only addendum that runs after this on some tracks, amazing)