Saturday, March 6, 2010

Provo River Parkway trail

The Provo River Parkway Trail is awesome! It just barely occurred to me today that I can easily jog on it because it passes less than a half mile from my house. It just barely occurred to me this week that jogging on roads with cars is gross because it smells like exhaust.

Do you recall Ethan Hawke's character in Gattaca who "never saved anything for the swim back?" As I went, I kept thinking of that great line and how I was going to apply that same sentiment and allocate all my energy towards getting far away from my house. It's a hard ideal to live because not thinking about the way back is a great way to blow the better part of your morning on a ridiculously long jog. I confess I saved something for the jog back, but not nearly as much as I should have saved. My jog was really more like two different jogs with a little break in between--one jog to get down the trail, a sizable break where I walked around and looked for a bathroom (with limited success--I found some, but they were locked for the season) and then another jog to get back.

Based on my anecdotal (and therefore meaningless) experience today, I feel like the camaraderie is better between joggers on trails than it is between joggers on streets. Many of the joggers today waved to me or made eye contact. I think I was reasonably friendly, too, though I confess that I frequently experience a strong urge to yell to the other joggers that if they had as much heart as I do, they would have become professional runners by now. This is widely considered poor trail etiquette. No one likes to share the trail with a pompous liar, no matter how much he overstates the innate athleticism of other joggers or how silly he looks.

(I note that I always feel like I look silly when I jog. I really enjoy feeling that I don't have to worry about how I look, but I struggle to escape the sense that something about my outfit--which includes a gaiter, a headband, old-style over-ear headphones, gloves, shirts, shorts and gallons of sweat--combined with my physique somehow makes it obvious that I am ridiculous in some profound, fundamental way).

Here's a map of half of my jog. I took exactly the same route back. I don't claim it was too out of hand in absolute terms as far as distances go, but it is the farthest I've ever gone in one session and it did take about twice as much time as I meant to spend (I include the slow wandering near that skate park at the end as part of the time, but not part of the map).