Have you ever found yourself on a long run and asking what Charlie from this scene asks…Where are we? This past Sunday, I found myself in that place. As the streets looked more and more unfamiliar, I eventually got to the place where I had to ask myself…where am I?
As I was telling a co-worker of my fun-filled 15 mile run, an attorney near me printed this out for me. He said he saw this and didn’t understand it until hearing my story. Thanks!
I got up before the sunrise on Sunday morning because I had 15 miles to cover that day and the temps would be up in the 90’s again. The air was cool at 6:30 in the morning and I wanted to cover as much distance as I could before the warm sun altered the temps. So, off I went.
On Friday, I mapped out a great 15 mile route around my apartment. It seemed like a fun route to take. My two previous long runs were done at the beach. The upside is that I love running at the beach. The downside, I have to drive 30-60 minutes to get to and from the beach. A 60 minute drive home after running so long is not fun at all. So, I thought it would be a good change of pace for me to run in my hometown and finish close to home. At the start, I felt very much like Iron Man (or Patriot Man)…
My route started off like the 5K route I have. Only, instead of turning at one of the lights, I just continued on to the next one and turned left. I started off in Pasadena and made my way to the city of South Pasadena. Along the way, in South Pasadena, I passed this place…
My wife and I LOVE Menchies Frozen Yogurt! However, it was too early in the morning to stop. So, I journeyed on. One place I wish I had taken a picture of is Orange Grove Blvd. It’s such a beautiful road to run along and was part of what made me so excited to run this route. I spent a couple of miles on this road on the way to the Rose Bowl. The only bummer of going the way I went was that there was a long and winding climb at the start of Orange Grove Blvd. Since I was focussed on finishing this brand new long distance, I chose to walk a little more up the hill. After all, I didn’t want to feel completely wasted at the start. Along the way, I passed a lot of runners who must have liked this road as well. All was going well. Here’s a picture in front of the Tournament of Roses House from my last run along Orange Grove Blvd.
On Friday, I printed out the directions for this route and promptly left them on the printer at my desk. Unfortunately, I didn’t discover this until Saturday. My main concern with the route I had chosen was the area around the Rose Bowl. On the way into the Rose Bowl, I went down the correct street. This was awesome! Once down the street to the Rose Bowl, I made my way onto the runner trail that loops around the Rose Bowl and a golf course. There were lots of runners out on the trail! I don’t know why, but it’s so energizing to be around a lot of other runners!
As I made my way around the 3+ mile loop, I noticed mile marker signs. It looked like there was some kind of organized running event. Sure enough, when I got on the end of my loop, I saw this…
As I could tell they were getting ready to start, I was in a little bit of a rush to get out of the Rose Bowl area. After all, I thought they might shut off the path. This is where the run became interesting. After nearly 9 miles, I was leaving the Rose Bowl area and I ended up taking the wrong street to exit. Oops! I wasn’t entirely sure I was on the right street as I started on it. So, I even looped back a little bit to make sure. It looked like where I came into the Rose Bowl loop, but it turned out to be a different street. Now, I should mention that the streets around the Rose Bowl are a little confusing. I started up this street thinking that, even if I was wrong, it would lead me to a familiar street where I could get back on track. I was wrong.
As the unfamiliar streets continued to pass by, I lost focus on running and instead was far more concerned with just getting back to where I needed to be. After continuing on for another mile and a half, I saw a street name that I thought should have been on the other side of the Rose Bowl in Glendale! That was my clue to stop, take a look at the GPS on my phone and figure out how to get back on track. Well, it turned out that I was waaaaaaay off my planned route. However, I did figure out how to get back home from where I was at. However, my detour meant that I would be nowhere near home when I crossed 15 miles.
As I continued along strange streets, I was able to focus on running again. However, the sun was beating down on me by this point and my feet were hurting. So, I wasn’t terribly consistent in my last 4 miles. I kept thinking about finishing times and that was my motivation to attempt to run as much as possible. I’m proud to say that I did finish all 15 miles! I even ran the last 0.12 miles of that distance! So, there was something left in the tank after the longest run of my life! Yay! I finished with an average pace of just under 14 minutes per mile. Considering that I got lost, the heat I had to deal with for the last 5 miles, traffic lights, and the hills I got to climb, I’ll take it. That’s the good news.
The bad news, I still had to get home. So, I stopped my GPS tracking at the 15 mile mark. Then, I stared a new one after that just to see how far I would have to walk to get home. It turns out that I was 2.25 miles away from home. I walked the entire way and was unconcerned about time. I just wanted to get home. It was hot out and my feet were screaming at me to take a long break. However, I needed to get home first. So, I just gutted it out and kept on walking until I arrived back home. The apartment complex never looked so good! In total, I went for 17.25 miles, with 15 miles of doing the run/walk/run method and 2.25 miles of slow walking. According to my Nike+ GPS Sport Watch, I burned over 3,000 calories for the day!
Have you ever found yourself lost while on a run of any distance? Or am I alone in this? Please share your experience. I’d love to know that I’m not alone.