Tuesday, December 30, 2008


In Australia*, there is a rite of passage in which Aborigines wander about the wilderness for an extended period of time as a spiritual journey/test type of deal. Wasn't that an awesome opening sentence? Ultramarathoner/ass-kicker Dean Karnazes recommends that runners train by going on their own sort of walkabout, this being more of a runabout. Dean says to leave the house with a credit card and a pair of running shoes and just run wherever the mood strikes you. Wander, stop at Starbucks, run some more, walk if you feel like it... the point is to spend a lot of time on your feet, moving in a forward motion.

Right now, I am in the midst of base training, which is a fancy term for "Look, Betsy, you need to start training for a half marathon trisko in a few weeks, so let's not slack off." Because I don't have any particular mileage to get in, I have been experimenting with going on runabout.

There may be some slight variations in the way I do it and the way Dean Karnazes does, in that he will go out for 8-9 hours, whereas I am more like 40-50 minutes, but whatever; the point is that Dean Karnazes and I are pretty much the same in terms of our training and athletic performance.

Going on runabout has been pretty cool. I was able to check out a used bookstore that is half a mile from my house, but that I have never gotten around to visiting. I've explored a number of cool neighborhoods and found some hidden parks.

And thanks to the inconsistencies in terrain (cleared sidewalks give way to packed snow, which gives way to black ice), every step is an adventure. This has also taught me that if I am running through most residential streets in my town, if I start slipping and yell, "WHOAH!" I can pretty well count on no response.

*If you have not seen the movie Australia, please do so, as it is outstanding. And I am not just saying that because of the scene in which Hugh Jackman showers in the wilderness, though that would be totally worth the price of admission. You're welcome. Also, is Nicole Kidman not one lucky girl for having Baz Luhrman cast her in movies that allowed her to make out with not one, but two of my boyfriends (the other, obviously, being Ewan McGreggor in Moulin Rouge!)? Baz, if you'd like to cast an actress who is able to move her forehead, CALL ME.


Roisin said...

Seriously! I can move my forehead too...

raulgonemobile said...

The runabout sounds cool. If I wasn't always a stinky sweaty mess while running, I'd be inclined to give it a shot. The public of the world thanks me for not stopping in Starbucks and the like. :)

Amy@RunnersLounge said...

Happy New Year Betsy! I thought about you through the holidays and love your birthday and Christmas posts about Jack. The holidays are wonderful through our children!

Wishing you all the best in the new year and also hoping we can get some clear roads to run on soon.

N.D. said...

That sounds like an adventure. I like it!

Anonymous said...

You convinced me! I ran to the gym this morning for weights, then ran home. Very nice! Much better than my usual drive to the gym, treadmill run, then weights.

(You haven't convinced me to see Australia, though...love Hugh, love Ewen, tired of watching Nicole Weirdman getting all their love).