My 13-year-old friend David has decided to be a runner. He ran track for the first time this past spring, and I think he plans to go out for cross country in the fall. In order to keep in shape, he’s running this summer as well. I thought that, to help keep him motivated, I’d offer to stop by his house after work once a week to run with him.
David lives really close to his school, so when he runs, he and his mom just walk over to the track at the school and run there. I’ve never run on a track, so this was going to be an experience for me. I wasn’t sure I’d like it, but I was willing to give it a try. So last week, the three of us walked from their house to the track and started running. As I ran, this is what I came up with.
What I like about running on a track:
- It’s a softer surface than running on concrete or asphalt. It seemed a little easier on my knees.
- I don’t have to worry about listening for traffic.
- The surface is pretty much level, so I can look up at the clouds if I want (the clouds were beautiful that day!) instead of watching my feet.
- You know exactly how far you’ve run.
- If you’re running with people who are slower or faster than you, you can run at your own pace and still know exactly where the others are.
What I don’t like about running on a track:
- It’s boring.
- I find it a little difficult to keep track of how many laps I’ve run. After four, I lose count, which kind of invalidates point 4 above.
- The scenery is pretty much the same the whole time, though I admit that is kind of the same as point number 1.
- There’s no chance to run in the shade.
- I don’t enjoy running in such tight circles. I’m okay with one-mile loops, but quarter-mile loops are not as enjoyable. Which again probably falls under point 1.
So, basically, although the track has some good points, it’s really super boring. But it’s some quality time with David (although I lapped him twice last week, I think he’ll keep up with me just fine when he works up to it) and it’s only once a week.
The rest of the time, I’ll run along the roads in my town, looking at cornfields and trees and sheep and honeysuckle… and trying not to trip in the pot holes or get hit by cars.