29 July 2006

Running and Procrastination: a Brief Strategic Analysis

OK, I'm supposed to be packing and moving and everything right now, but I've been thinking quite a bit about running strategies (no doubt as a mechanism for avoiding any unpleasant moving-related thoughts), and wanted to use today's post to work through a couple of things. By "strategies," of course, I mean the ways in which I'll work toward my goal of running all the streets in Brooklyn. But there are numerous ways to accomplish this, and despite my constant cogitation, I have yet to arrive at any conclusions which support one strategy over the other. So herewith is my groggy, early-morning, procrastinational overview. Then I'll pack. Really.

Strategy No. 1: The Random Run: running wherever I feel like, whenever I feel like it.
  • Pros: It's fun, it requires no planning, and it's infinitely customizeable so I can adjust on the fly for weather conditions, aches and pains, gastrointestinal exigencies, etc.
  • Cons: Without any advance planning, it's hard to remember and document my exact route. It's also much more likely that I'll repeat streets, meaning it will take longer to complete the whole thing.

Strategy No. 2: The Big Loop: pretty much like it sounds -- a more or less simple geometric shape (rectangle, trapezoid, whatever) stretching out over a relatively large surface area.
  • Pros: It's easy to document and to not get lost. I also typically get to see a number of different neighborhoods.
  • Cons: It's easy to ignore or miss smaller streets. Also, some advance planning has to be done to make sure I begin and end near subway stops.

Strategy No. 3: The Themed Run: This strategy consists of picking a route which would have a particular, well, theme -- trying to put together a run that has some kind of organizing principle.
  • Pros: Plenty of opportunity for interesting runs. I could do a themed run which would take me by colleges, or hospitals, or subway stops, or cemeteries, or along the boundary with Queens.
  • Cons: Would take extra time for research and planning.

Strategy No. 4: The Systematic Run: This would be where I pick a small region (16-20 blocks in one neighborhood) and just run all of them, usually in a back-and-forth fashion.
  • Pros: It's relatively easy to document, and it easily and conveniently fills in little sections of the map all at once.
  • Cons: It's kind of boring, and doesn't provide a whole lot of experiential diversity (or much in the way of cool things to photograph).

So what to do? After typing this all out and thinking about it some more, I've concluded that the best overall strategy is... a combination of all of these. Well-planned big loops could overlap one another and cover lots of ground, linking together whole neighborhoods. Then I could systematically fill in the gaps when I feel like it. And the occasional random or themed run would probably be a good tonic for the spirit, keeping me motivated and interested and reinforcing the idea that this whole thing, after all, is supposed to be fun.

Whew. So after half an hour, I've pretty much arrived at the same spot I started at. Which, I suppose, is precisely the point of procrastination. Thanks for indulging me. Now I'm going to go put things in boxes.

Bonus moving-day photo from yesterday's run:

Fortune cookie wisdom on 18th Avenue


At 9:22 PM, Anonymous Carrie W said...

Gary you are doing an awesome job on the blogging and by the way i love the pictures, keep it up!!


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