Reverse Run

If you run loop courses as I do sometimes…
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You know where you start a point A and take a left at that street and work your way around a neighborhood or park or city and end up back at point A with out back tracking to much on where you just run.
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You might consider reversing the loop everyonce in awhile. It breaks up the monotony but it give a new perspective on where you are running.
I was getting ready to run my Bedford 10k loop today and decided I would do it backwards. The first part is just remebering how if finishes because it usually just comes natural at the end of the run. Either way once you are on your way you start to discover things you have never seen before. This is odd because of all of the times you have run the loop before you have never noticed those things. The biggest supprise is when you see a house that you have never seen before. It was nestled in behind another house that is just about unseen coming from the other direction. So as you are a few blocks out and a couple of turns into your reversed route a scary thought enters you mind, “Maybe I took a wrong turn and am off my course.” For a training run this is not so bad because that is how you can find a new route. This is a real bad feeling in a race but this why races have those volunteers. Back to the inverted route: Nothing looks familar and all of a sudden its sort of like being a kid lost in the mall surrounded by those big shelves and hangars. “Where am I and where does this lead.” Reality sets in and I am out of panic mode. Maybe it is because I am on the other side of the street but everything looks off. That up slope at the end is now a slight downhill. The sidewalk slabs slope at 150 degrees instead of 30. There are uphills where you never knew where because they were downhills going the regular way.
I think the most interesting part is what I am concentrating on at each point.
The begining of every run starts slow and is about warming up and getting into form. This is a time to relax a little and enjoy the surrounding a little and focue on the upcoming running.
The middle can be a mix of cruise control and speed work or hard running or something else. It is the part of my surroundings I pay the least attention to.
The last part of the run is all about the fatigue factor. I am concentrating on maintianing my form and keeping speed. If I am tired or hurting I may pick a intermediate spot to run to and then another and another. You get the point. I am acutly aware of everything around me. It is part of my concentration on finishing the run.
The very last part is that last kick of a straight away. I cannot resist it always gets the better of me. Now I have find the best place to start that.

Take all of that and running the same route many many times and all of a sudden everything happening visually is reversed. I have seen houses that I never knew where there. There are some fantastic gardens and porch designs out there. I have to watch my step a little more carefully at times. I have even found some public parks/playgrounds that I did not even know were ther. (Rachael will love them.) It is fantastic and frightening at the same time. There are still routes I take that I have not reversed but I cannot wait. It is like discovering you (or someone elses) neighborhood all over again. I highly recomend it for all of you.

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