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1.) I love running.

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2.) Sometimes I dread running. 

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3.) Running is fun. 

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4.) Running is my release. 

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5.) Running is boring. 

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6.) Running is monotonous. 

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7.) I can only run the same route so many times. 

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8.) If I didn't do something to shake up my running routine, I was going to burn out. 

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9.) Running to a different park in SE Portland every time I ran exposed me to new scenery. 

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10.) The park runs kept things interesting. 

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11.) Sometimes it got a little too interesting — like when my GPS led me down narrow, congested roads with no sidewalks that were clearly never intended for pedestrians and I had to abandon my park route for the day. 

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12.) The parks were always my halfway point, which broke my runs up nicely.

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13.) The parks were a reprieve: I'd take a few minutes, walk around, and enjoy the scenery before finishing the second half of each run. 

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14.) A few times I worried that these little breaks might be negatively influencing my pacing or stamina, but then I realized how depressing it would be to make the trip to a park and not even take a few minutes to enjoy it. 

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15.) I thought of these adventures as mini reconnaissance missions: if I have a child someday, I want to know which parks have the best facilities and equipment. 

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16.) One thing became clear: most parks look the same.

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17.) A few don't, though, and those are the ones I'll be sure to revisit. 

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18.) The most frustrating days were the ones when I either had to abandon my route because it seemed too dangerous or when I reached my "destination" to discover it wasn't a park at all.

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19.) The weather created some frustrating days, too. 

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20.) Parks aren't as much fun in the rain. 

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21.) Sometimes, though, being alone in an empty park as rain poured down on me made me feel like some sort of badass adventurer.

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22.) I like routines. 

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23.) I like structure.

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24.) I like rituals. 

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25.) I only like routines, structure and rituals when they're a little different each time. 

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26.) What I love most about my park project is that it was simultaneously routine and varied.

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27.) The runs themselves weren't always very scenic, often taking place alongside heavily congested roads. 

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28.) Reaching some of the parks was like reaching an oasis.

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29.) I am very easily affected by Portland's cold, dark, rainy season and often spend most of winter hibernating. 

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30.) My park project kept me outside during the coldest, darkest, rainiest days this season. 

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31.) I've read many studies that attribute exercising in nature with increased happiness and I believe it wholeheartedly. 

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32.) I think running in general and these parks specifically are the main reason why I'm not depressed right now. 

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33.) I got to know my neighborhood better by spending so much time exploring it by foot. 

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34.) I got to know the neighborhoods around my neighborhoods better, too. 

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35.) Some things are best experienced on foot; you can't get the right perspective from a vehicle. 

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36.) I don't know if I'd still be running right now if I didn't use this park project to shake up my routine. 

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37.) I love running. 

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