Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive…and Dodge

It is an absolute beautiful day out; just went to grab a coffee to cure a two-pronged predicament. My throat remains perpetually scratchy + shucks, I’m tired (even though I slept like a champ for the first time in ages) = a coffee. Right now I’m more attune to its warmth than that of the actual taste. I’m still new to this caffeinated landscape, only partaking in the heavy-hitting stuff (i.e. not a Frappuccino) from the start of this spring quarter with three classes a week (M-T-R) potentially taking their toll on poor ol’ me. Boo hoo, I know. Where’s that tiny violin when I need it?

While famed voice of the Flames Adam L. claims it to be too chilly out at a delightful sunny 53 degrees (you grew up in New York! How is this cold?), I’m altering my evening plans so as to go on a post work run. That being said, I won’t hit the pavement until 5:30-6 or so.  

It’s been a while since I can claim to have consistently run out and about on the mean streets of the loop, but I can recall back to why I really ceased such routing (especially when I lived out in Forest Park and commuted) and it should come as no surprise to anyone who “knows me”: I hate people. (wait, I urge you to continue reading so as not to end your me consumption with such a blanket statement that I am prone to composing…please?)

Now wait, not a totally fair statement for me to make, caffeinated self. I like the structure and complexities of people interacting, communicating and functioning. It’s cool, called sociology and if I had a stinging moment of academia lust, I would most certainly focus my efforts within demography or organizational soc. Maybe if I win the lottery, I’ll pull a Buster a la Arrested Development and be a perpetual student. Side tracked.

But the sheer act of running downtown between the morning hours of 7-9a or post work brings out the throngs of people along every street. This had a level of enjoyment when I had a running buddy and we made games out of specific oddities we would look for throughout the crowds of people (dress shirts, university apparel, what have you) by carrying those little handheld pitch counters and clicking for every instance of whatever we were searching for.

But those days are years ago, and even then, my deeply rooted hatred of being stopped every few feet by a stoplight (I grew up in the sprawling suburbs, I never really had to deal with stoppage time back then) made those runs less about the act of movement and more about trying not to run into people/hydrants/fences/valets/buses or be attacked by a bum (oh hey, the purpose of my title—how about that?). They were essentially slower fartlek runs, something I’m not really interested in on a daily basis at this point (but most certainly contributed to my heightened level of fitness at that time).

It should now be mentioned that after last year’s failed attempt at marathon training, I dislike the lakefront path immensely. This combined with a disinterest in city running leaves me with little option short of driving out to a preserve which I am usually far too lazy or stretched thin on time to do after work.

Maybe I should just move somewhere entirely different. Hmm. 


  1. I know what you mean about city running -- I grew up running in the same suburbs you did, and am now stuck running on the streets of Manhattan. Now the success of a run is measured more by how many taxis I was able to dodge than it is by how many miles I was able to clock. It's definitely far from ideal, but running is still running and I still love it.


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