We all have a favorite run. A run you cannot say no to without an extensive internal debate. What differs between many runners is the frequency with which they embark on their favorite route. Some individuals prefer repetition for its ability to calm and center them while others need something new to maintain their sanity. So, because we live in a world of absolutes, which style is better? Are runners better off in monogamous or polygamous running route relationships?
*For the purposes of this conversation, please read “Second Farm,” “Meat Grinder,” and “The Chute” as running route names.
Pro: Ready to run?
Pro: Second Farm?
Con: We ran there yesterday. How ‘bout Meat Grinder?
Pro: How ‘bout no.
Con: How ‘bout The Chute?
Pro: How ‘bout Second Farm?
Con: How ‘bout anything but Second Farm?
Pro: How ‘bout you cheat on your significant other?
Con: Sorry, what?
Pro: Second Farm is perfect. Why would I cheat on perfection?
Con: First, it’s not. Second, yuck. I don’t start committed relationships with running routes.
Pro: You should try it. Commitment is quite fulfilling.
Con: Aren’t you curious if there’s a run that is better than Second Farm?
Pro: It’s possible that such a run exists in the same way that the existence of sentient life on another planet is possible. Why waste time trying to find out?
Con: I don’t know. To enjoy the journey? To satisfy your curiosity? Because running the same route everyday is mediocre?
Pro: Being content is not mediocre. Running Second Farm allows me to ground myself. I can appreciate the small changes that I observe on each run as well as the consistency of the routine. Second Farm is wholesome.
Con: But if we do a different run today, we’ll get to see a whole different set of sights. Something new. Something fresh. Something that isn’t mind-numbing.
Pro: Mind-numbing runs are comforting though. Some days I just want to get the miles in, and knowing the run means that I know exactly what effort will be required.
Con: I disagree. Running a different route provides more distractions to get through the run, and working harder on a route that is less familiar makes you a better runner.
Pro: Not necessarily. Doing the same run lets you measure your improvement and gives you a better sense of how you are doing on a day-to-day basis. The variables are controlled.
Pro: Ugh, you think Sandler is funny?
Con: Forget it. Let’s run Second Farm.
Will has been running competitively since high school, and is currently running with the HOKA Aggies, a post-collegiate club here on the central coast of California. With a preference for the humorous and the verbose, he enjoys playing the wordsmith almost as much as his daily runs.