Weekend Run - Mental Simplicity

It’s the weekend and that means it’s long-run day.  Having not run at all last weekend (for a reason that I am beyond excited about, but I’ll share more on that in an upcoming post), I decided to cut my mileage down a bit.  Lately, with so much going on, I have been keeping it simple, choosing runs that are less challenging and more familiar.  For some reason, when i’m mentally loaded at work I don’t have the mind-space to be as creative or adventurous on my weekend runs.  Currently I work at Amazon and we just finished the annual Prime Day promotion which I was managing for my team.  Preparation for a huge event at work like this can take over a person’s life, so I have been taking a mental vacation and doing things that don’t require heavy brain-work like watching tv, playing video games and running my go-to, easy routes.  

Today I ran my favorite route from downtown along first avenue into the industrial district, turning around at Boeing Field.  This route is flat, quiet and familiar for me and I’m able to turn off my brain and let it wander. 

I find running through the Industrial District very beautiful and visually inspiring. Leaving the city with it’s skyscrapers is like coming down out of a mountain range, past the foothills of Pioneer Square and the stadiums, and into the lowlands of the single story industrial buildings from the early 1900s.  

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Every block has a different feel, each like a separate secluded town in the valley below the mountains.  Some are well manicured with broad avenues and neat brick buildings with flowerbeds, but are closed and completely silent because of the weekend, giving it the feel of an abandoned main-street town from the 60s right out of a twilight zone episode.  They may be abandoned, but only recently because the weeds haven’t started growing in yet.  

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Others feel like they weren’t well maintained even when they did have life in them; the paint peeling, the wood and pavement cracked, the signs left askew and fading in the windows.  Birds collect out front like new diner patrons and graffiti sprouts like wildflowers along the walls and fences telling a new story of people passing by but not making these buildings a perfect home.  

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Each one had a reason to exist and be useful for someone, but the city rotated on leaving empty buildings and forgotten people behind.  Sometimes when I’m out running I imagine what these places used to do and who the people used to be, creating a new busy world for them within my mind.  It’s something to pass the time on my run and keep my mind off aching joints and exhaustion.  It’s my story time.