Seebo's Run

A running commentary on my training and whatever else emerges from that.

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Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Synergy

Double Thursday. 4.5ish improvised loop through Mill Creek and West Philly this morning, and then a slow 8-mile Sweetbriar loop (68:19) at noon w/ JH and R, another USP XC runner. Also did crosstraining of sorts as I rode my bike to Center City this afternoon to get back and forth to a meeting.

What made my day running-wise, however, was reading an interview on fastwomen.com on Veena Reddy conducted by Ian Chillag, a friend of mine (their names are both on the interview, so I'm foregoing my usual practice of anonymity). Most of the interview is the usual stuff of interest only to running geeks like myself, but there is one thing Veena said that really excited me, especially after my run this morning:

As runners we discover the most beautiful things in the strangest places. We're not afraid to go into neighborhoods with our running shoes on, which architects are sometimes afraid to go into. So I think I have a vantage point that will always influence my design, and my love of architecture will always have me seeking new routes and new paths. A building I'm interested in will change the path of my run.

This so expressed my mood on this morning's run. I left in full daylight and took off toward the northwest to explore the Mill Creek area, something I had resolved to do more of in previous entries. Where Veena explores as an architect, I do so as a sociologist, and so while my perspective is a bit different the vantage point is the same. Running, unlike a car, puts you into the landscape, and at a speed where you can take it in and, if necessary, stop or detour or improvise. There are stretches where my running is like time lapse photography, getting a series of shots day after day and watching the change. Other times like this morning I go off and stumble into a new world.

This morning it was a neighborhood where the decay has progressed to the point where more and more the dilapidated housing is turning into vacant lots. This can be described ecologically in terms of death and regeneration, but there is a naivete to that, especially with the knowledge that this area is a target of the city's Neighborhood Transformation Initiative. But what is exhilerating are the surprises that constantly pop up: the block long wall with a series of graffiti murals, a shiny new hotel standing like an oasis amongst run down rowhouses, and the yard overflowing with decorative junk. People said hi, ask how far I'd run, and ask me for the time without any regard that I'm in the middle of a workout. And for some reason I stopped, if only to look at my watch and say "7:05."

And I can go on and on. Thanks Veena for giving me a starting point to do so. And then I think this idea can be made into something bigger. Taking running up an epistemological level. I'll have to think about that one. . . while I run.

By way of postscript, I added another picture, of me crossing the finish line, yesterday to my Cesar Rodney entry of a few days ago that I downloaded off of the race website (URL is in the caption). A good shot, I look like a runner.

1 Comments:

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9:04 PM  

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