Saturday after Saturday, my long run was the same routine.
I had managed to turn what is actually a gorgeous run — Santa Rosa Road in east Ventura County — into a rather joyless exercise that always boiled down to cold, hard numbers.
How many miles? At what pace?
I did these runs alone, and too often I was oblivious to the pastoral scenery along the way.
These runs were for one purpose only: building blocks for my next competitive marathon.
Years later, I can see that I was missing the point of the long run rather badly. I was reminded vividly of that last year, when in a six-week stretch I ran the Los Angeles,...