Aside from yesterday’s post-run scare (see previous post), the workout itself was perhaps the easiest run I’ve ever had – at least mentally. I think anyone who has realized they had mistakenly embarked on a 12 mile run instead of the intended 6 (whoops!) would say the same.
Here’s the story: Kirk’s two-hand touch football league started last weekend which is great for me. As team captain (and quarterback) he is responsible for refereeing the game immediately prior to theirs leaving me with an hour to run around the park before circling back to catch his game. Since he plays in both the spring and fall leagues I have plenty of practice with this routine and know the park like the back of my hand. Or so I thought. Apparently, a five month hiatus is enough to wipe my memory clean.
Yesterday I had 6 miles to run according to my training schedule. In my head I planned my route: 3 loops clockwise around the park and then I would pull out the iPod for some extra motivation before completing my last three loops in the opposite direction, just to break things up. Even though I know better, for whatever reason I was equating one loop to one mile. NOT THE CASE. Midway through my second loop it occurred to me that I was feeling more fatigued than I would have expected 1.5 miles in. My Garmin had died about three minutes into my run (even though when I strapped the sucker on he’d claimed he had 56% of battery life remaining. Liar.), so I really had no sense of how long I’d been running or how far I’d gone.
I racked my brain, but I couldn’t remember the distance around the park. I was pretty sure it wasn’t one mile anymore. Was it 1.5? 2 miles? No idea. A mom with a jogging stroller on the east side of the park was as clueless as I was. Around the next corner, just as I completed my second loop, I spotted a die-hard runner clad in spandex, and Brooks and I knew he’d set me straight. Verdict? The park was 2 miles around. Relief! And bonus, while I’d geared up to run six laps of the park, I now only had to run three! And two were already completed. I was in the home stretch before even hitting my halfway point. Happy happy, joy joy!
It’s amazing how much of the endurance factor is mental. When I thought I had four more loops to do, I was poking along, breathing heavy and focusing too much on the twinge on the outside of my ankle. When I realized I only had to circle the park once more I was suddenly on cloud nine, without a care in the world. I finished my six miles feeling like I could easily have completed six more.
Ever have a miscalculation on your run? I know I have (maybe I shouldn’t be admitting this!), but this is the first time it’s actually worked in my favor. 🙂
By the way, the Baltimore Sports & Social Club hosts games at Patterson Park in the spring and fall. The park has tennis courts, a swimming pool, ball fields, and even a skating rink. Located in downtown Baltimore, there are sometimes strange charaters trolling around, and it can smell more like the local SPCA than a park come summer, but regardless, it’s nice to be outdoors. The park is also close to a plethora of good urban eats for refuling after a game/run. The Friends of Patterson Park have even posted a running map on their website. Maybe with this I won’t forget my distances again!