Oh To Be A Route-ist...

It was with great relish that I sat down to read, cover to cover, the August edition of "Runner's World" earlier this week. And when I say cover to cover, I mean that literally. I was stopped in my tracks though when I read David Willey's Editor's Letter bemoaning a recent vacation in Northern Michigan on Walloon Lake where he was relegated to running "five miles on a paved road that could've been in suburban Detroit," instead of the "sylvan trail along the water" that he dreamed of. Mr. Willey said that he "subscribed to the belief that one should run on the best, most scenic route possible," and declared himself a "route-ist."

Virtually all the miles I have logged so far this year have been on paved roads that could have been in suburban Detroit. They weren't. They were logged on flat as a pancake, hot as a mother (well, in the summer, anyway) suburban Fresno, California. I run the 'hood for the most part--thus the name of this blog. Past "little boxes made of ticky tack," zigging and zagging to avoid parked cars and the occasional garbage truck. Counting the number of fast food wrappers left abandoned on the street. Running the stretch along the railroad track where if you time it just right, and the Amtrak blazes past you, for a moment all time seems to stop as you no longer hear your labored breath or the sounds of your feet hitting the ground. Saying hello to the occasional walker or waving to the rare fellow runner passing by in the other direction. That's my runner's world.

I long for the 'sylvan trail.' I want to fancy myself a route-ist. But it seems as though you actually have had to experience the exhilaration of running through beauty first to claim that title. For now I will have to settle for miles of asphalt and lots of broken glass instead. In the end, does it really matter? Isn't it really about the running and not the run? Process versus outcome?

How about you? Are you are route-ist?