Oneness with Mother Nature. I rather see it as a measure of abstract inclines and terrains and distances and temperatures against my repertoire of movable quantifying devices. I count, therefore I run.
Brotherhood. That We-band-of-brothers’ kind of hype. I run alone, and everyone I meet on the road is sharply different from me: in purpose, or age, or attire, or shape, or history, or scope. Mostly, in everything at once. Obviously, I plan not to cross-check this facts.
Conversation. Ditto -anyway, I needn’t go running to perpetually shut myself up.
Discipline. As anything you are born into is not techology but “stuff”, anything intimate I command in order to run is not discipline, but “myself”.
Progress. For the last decade or so, what I do is decline in a controlled manner, and meditate about it.
Climbs. “My” climbs are real, vertical routes up rock walls, and when you confront those you are not running but climbing, which is a slower, riskier, and brainier game altogether. Everything less than 70-degree slope is called a scramble.
Sponsorship. I understand less and less the fact of running with your body covered in brands. I couldn’t name the maker of anything I am wearing, using or ingesting while running, and couldn’t care less about it, save the fact that every item was acquired, manufactured or adapted by myself in the cheapest possible way.
Music. I do not consume music. I behave as if there was already too much of it back in ‘85, and when in the mood involve myself in some (always the same) selective replays. Never when running. I get distracted too easily. I cannot even hum while counting.
Positioning device. I am reasonably good at remembering detours, turns and landscape features and rely on Google Earth to help me determine what I did or what to do. Sometimes I did take a kid’s compass with me.
Appreciation of the surroundings. I run either with my eyeglasses removed and tucked into a pocket, or with awfully old, dirty and ill-graded contact lenses which give me watery eyes and are nearly useless.
Mileage. I run metric. Meters, at meters per minute speeds. Minutes per mile estimates drive me crazy. I even despise minutes/km estimates.
Nutrition. I eat anything, anytime. Quantities may vary.
Adequate protection. Sunscreen might eventually go onto my neck and shoulders when UV-risk gets over 15 or so. A wool cap covers my ears for long cold runs (say, under freezing) but that’s all the lid youll ever see. I wear shorts whenever temperatures are minus 12 centigrade or more. Then again, some would call inadequate to live without health insurance, but I also manage to pull that one off.
Regrets. Something really good must be going on with my running since without all the preceding getting in the way, I do get from it lots of fun, challenges and satisfactions, sound health, time to think and a marvelous sense of joy.