15 July 2006

Special Saturday Anxiety Edition

It's Saturday again, so I'm resting up. But the time off this morning has given me the chance to think about this whole running thing, allowing me plenty of opportunity to do what I do best – worry about stuff. Here are the "Brooklyn Runs"-related things I'm fretting about most today:

1. I'm running way too much. No, seriously. Over the last few years, in a typical week I'd probably run 25 miles, 30 tops. But last week I ran over 42, and assuming I get my long run in tomorrow I'll have close to 44 this week. Now, that'd be okay, I guess, if I was actively training for a marathon or something, but I'm not. I've just been caught up in the excitement of starting this project and wanting to see as many different neighborhoods as I can. But I'm afraid I'll burn out, or – worse yet – injure myself, which would then lay me up for a while and lead to depression and guilt and all that. My legs (hamstrings and hip joints especially) have been hurting lately, so I've really got to try to temper my enthusiasm and keep my mileage totals reasonable before I get hurt for real.

2. I want to expand my photographic repertoire. It's true, I've received some very encouraging comments and emails from people out there who have had nice things to say about my pictures. But I feel like my pictures are all alike – I seem particularly drawn to straight-ahead shots of storefronts and buildings with colorful signs and anything with graffiti on it. I especially wish I could take pictures with people in them, but I'm not quite sure how to go about doing that. Is it acceptable to snap pictures of passers-by on the sidewalk? People waiting for the bus? Folks who work outside? I mean, I know it's technically legal and everything (no expectation of privacy in a public space and all that), but I don't want to offend anyone or – worse – initiate a confrontation with someone who'd rather not be photographed. I'd love to hear from anyone with advice or suggestions about this.

3. The weather's taking its toll. I am not a good warm weather runner at all (give me a nice 40-degree day anytime), and the 10-day forecast calls for nothing but heat and humidity. I've been managing okay so far, but would it be so awful to have a day or two with nice, dry air and a low around 60? I have this recurring mental image of me just collapsing in a stinking, sweaty heap on a sidewalk in some unfamiliar neighborhood miles from home, the locals gingerly stepping over or around my rapidly-expiring body as they head off to work.

4. I'm going to bore people (including myself) to death. Again, I've received some great feedback so far, but how long can people stay engaged? After all, there are only so many ways to write "I had a good run today" or "I saw some interesting things on this run" or "damn, it was really muggy this morning" or whatever. I'm going to have to work on being more creative with these posts, but in the meantime I'll at least look for my thesaurus.

Alright, I suppose that's enough worrying for now. And I don't want to sound like I'm complaining, because I'm not – I really am having a blast with this whole thing so far. Sometimes, I guess, I just think too much. I'm sure I'll be fine tomorrow, when I'm running...

In keeping with tradition, here's an additional picture from this week:

Obligatory Coney Island shot of the Cyclone


At 11:41 AM, Anonymous rs said...

You could have guest runners and they could write some of the posts? Now you just have to get someone as fast as you are to run with you...and my condolences on the weather, but it'll be great in October/November.

At 11:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoy the pictures you've been taking, Gary. They're one of the reasons I keep coming back to your blog. Might be nice to include people, but that can be tricky. Best to ask permission before taking someone's photo.

At 2:11 PM, Blogger Julia Lundman Midlock (Julie) said...

Hi Gary, I really like the edition of the photos. I think they add a lot of interest to your blog. I am an artist and often deal with the problem of photos of strangers. I think if they are general street scenes and not too candid, you can get away with it. If you have portraits of people where they are extremely recognizable, as in close ups and that kind of thing, people need to be asked permission to have their photo on the site. You even have to go so far as to have people sign a model release form, which I'm sure you'd rather not get into. I would just keep photos of people generic in nature, as in far shots and things like that. You'll be ok with those.

At 1:44 PM, Anonymous Rich said...

Gary, this is really cool. I live in Iowa City and wish you would've done the blogging here but I can't imagine how much work this all entails. I have a few suggestions to spice up your blogs. You could include some anectdotal history of the places you are seeing. Or you could summarize the answers to some brief questions of a person or two you meet along the way. For example, "What do you like best about your neighborhood?" Or "Where do people hang out around here?" Those might elicit some telling responses.


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