Yes, an appreciation for the aesthetic value of a run is very important to me. At first, I guess I needed an ostensibly beautiful and unpopulated place like Rancho San Antonio County Park in Santa Clara County, California to help motivate me to run. Now, several years and thousands of miles later, my motivation comes much more from within--but the aesthetic is still a huge part of why running is therapeutic. Even some of my more mundane suburban/urban routes have for me their own beauty. There are sights, sounds, smells that I miss if I go more than a few days without running a certain route. When I was in California for a buddy's wedding, I mapped out a run for the sole purpose of experiencing the place where I would be, both the country side and the town. Running is now a big part of how I interpret and learn my environment.
One of my favorite runs ever was on Tuesday afternoon when I ran in a driving rain storm out around the Castle Island causeway in South Boston--there was nobody out due to the weather and I was running on a narrow jetty with water on both sides of me and water hitting me in the face and the harbor islands just faint shadows in the fog. I felt sorry for the poor slugs crouching in doorways downtown or running from cover to cover with umbrellas like the guys from the 5th floor of my building who rode the elevator down with me when I was heading out and couldn't believe I was going out running in that. "It's only water," I told them. They didn't get to know what I knew and they didn't get to experience the city from my perspective or feel physically connected to the natural world, and it was their loss.