Monday, January 11, 2010

Day 11 - Surfing the Business Park

Last night there was a very small celebration to mark 10 days in a row. The size of the celebration was in keeping with the accomplishment, that being 2.7% of the way to 365.

It did, however, involve some excellent tequila. Fairly modest amounts of tequila, but it made for a late night. Late enough that a morning run wasn't in the cards. Join that with the fact that I had meetings until noon, and another at 1:00, and from the outset, I knew today was going to be a challenge.

I had an hour to dress, run, stretch, shower, dress, and shove some version of food in my mouth to get me through the afternoon.

At 12:05 I was out the door and eager to hit my usual work course. It took me about 40 yards before I realized there was a problem.

My route included several previously unnoticed off-road short cuts that were currently buried under mounds of snow that used to cover the parking lots in the business park. My course was littered with deep, icy, cold roadblocks. My shoes were decidedly not conducive to deep snow.

One of the great things about running is that it is really easy to improvise. Running is so lightweight, you can change your mind in a second. If you're a swimmer, there aren't many options open to you if you show up and all of the lanes are full, or worse, the pool's closed. Many a good bike ride have been spoiled by a random shard of glass.

On the fly, I completely changed my plans. I decided to see how many miles I could log without leaving my business park and without retracing my steps. All I needed was a mile, right?

Cruising around even what you think is familiar territory on foot, you'll still usually discover something. For example, that building by the entrance that too often has ambulances out front? Turns out to be a nursing home. Who knew!

I managed to get over 3 miles in the parking lots and streets of the business park. 3 miles! I only retraced one road, the main drag, and that was to get in the big hill and loop around the bank.

When most people pull into a business park, they consider themselves having arrived. They're "there", it's just a matter of finding the right building and a place to park. Well hidden in there, in what is essentially a big convoluted driveway, are at least 3 miles of good running.

There are millions of hidden miles out there, hundreds right under your nose, each step of which is way more interesting that anything you'll see on a treadmill. Get out there are find some of them.

Good running,

Numbers: 3.1 miles at a surprisingly brick 7:47 pace. Guess the legs liked being free of the trail shoes.