Monday, March 12, 2012

Detour to higher mileage

It was a simple question: Had I eaten lunch yet? The answer should have been simple, as well. "Yes, I had eaten lunch," I said in reply to my friend's text.

But I had to add something on,something that made things a little more difficult.

"But," I told her, "I accidentally ran 11 miles this morning and who knows how hungry I'll be in an hour or so."

Then came a not-so-simple question: How do you accidentally run 11 miles?

1. You could be really bad at math. You could see that you have 5 miles on the schedule and run 5 miles but forget you have to get home, too. This was not the case but you could see how that could happen.

2. You could join a friend who is further along in her training plan and get so caught up in talking that you miss your turnaround. Again, not the case but easy enough.

3. You could be so in the moment, so in love with running that you miss your turnaround. While this has happened to me, coincidentally on the day I met Shalane Flanagan, I was not being moved by the spirit of Prefontaine.

No, I was being moved by the spirit of a moron. Myself being the moron.

I had 10 miles on schedule and, per the routine, Mark, Denali and Miles joined me for the first part. Mark has been steadily increasing his mileage of late and was ready to do 5 miles. Those 5 miles were lovely enough as we plodded along the greenway except for the "casual" reminders to Mark to slow the eff down.

Once I dropped them off (and grabbed my ear buds), I started to make my moron mistakes.

No. 1: Set off with no route in mind. Most of the time, I head north toward downtown for a nice out and back. When I realized that I would have to stop to cross the street, I turned left toward the park.

No. 2: When I got to the park, I realized that I didn't want to run it again and headed down a part of the trail that I frequent less often.

No. 3: When it was time to make my turnaround, I decided that I didn't want to do an out and back. Instead, I got off the trail and found myself smack dab in an unfamiliar (and less than upscale) neighborhood.

At this point, I tried to use my amazing sense of direction to figure out a way home. I went down a street. Dead end. I turned right. Dead end. I turned left. And ran and ran and ran. For a brief moment, I started to scope out houses where I could stop and ask for directions (or stop and ask to use a phone) but eventually I found myself at an intersection where a street name was known. I turned right and headed toward familiar territory.

I got home in decent time without feeling like doody just in time to realize that I made moron mistake No. 4: I did a long run and failed to wash my compression gear. I'll have that one to thank for this morning's sore quads.

Of course, I could play this off that I was feeling pretty good - and I was - and I thought it would be good to bump up mileage since I did a 10-miler two weeks ago - and it probably was. However, it's probably not so good to add on mileage because you refuse to plan ahead and toss common sense to the wind at the earliest point possible.

The only smart thing I did was happen upon a gas station to refill my bottle and wear my RoadID so that the police knew who I was when I collapsed after running in circles for 200 miles.


  1. hahahaha! I was just having this conversation with my friend yesterday (who's name is coincidentally also Kim) about how math plus running never comes out the way you think it should...

    At least it was only 1 extra mile!

  2. Oh man, do I have some experience with "accidentally" running too far. Seriously - you'll have to talk to "C" about one of our early "long" runs where we were aiming for finally ready for 6 miles and knew it was already going to be 6.5 miles, but about 2 miles from the end the path was flooded so we had to backtrack and go around making our run 9 miles - longest distance ever - it was miserable! Another time we got lost was when we first ran in the big city and tried to do some of the F4F route - yeah, we got soooo lost in the Drury Circle area - holy crap. It was suppose to be a 9 mile run (longest ever of my life) and after getting lost 3 times, we ended up going nearly 11 miles. And finally, we headed down on the big city's path and was suppose to stop at Calhoun - we completely ran past the sign and went all the way to the end of the path and was like, "Where's Calhoun?". We turned around and like God smacked us upside the head with a HUGE Calhoun street sign bam right there! We had run right past it - too busy laughing and talking.

    Good thing you were in shape and able to handle the distance.

    I was thinking about Bobbi's comment plus some that you made within the post - doing math is my FAVORITE distraction while I run. I LOVE (and am very good at) figuring out distance, pace, time, whatever during runs (like yesterday when I was trying to figure out how long it was going to take and I figured 3 songs - BAM, 3 songs is exactly how much it took). I love doing math while running :)

  3. One mile extra isn't bad but the lost feeling wouldn't be enjoyable on a run, especially in a bad neighborhood. I really need to stop trying to do math while I run. I am good at math but somehow those skills escape me while running.

  4. Whatever it takes, right? ;) I remember doing something like is in college (this was pre cell phone era) where I got completely lost and had to stop for directions. Ended up doing way more mileage than necessary. But it sounds like you had a great run / nice job!

  5. Nice run! Have you seen the 5k episode of the Office? "How far are we from the office?" "Oh, about 3.1 miles."