Day 216: New Directions

Today was the 118th running of the Boston Marathon. I had the day off, and I feel like I did nothing because I got up, got Ryan to school, then came home and searched online for a broadcast of the marathon, since Universal Sports decided to be an asshat, telling me I needed to buy a new Fios sports package in order to watch the race. I need the Golf and NBA Channel like I need a new anal orifice. Luckily I caught the WBZ broadcast instead (along with the Universal broadcast via the BAA) and they did a terrific job of it, *and* they were 4 minutes ahead of Universal. Suck on that, Comcast.

I watched the winners come in, knowing that I needed to get out for my run too. I’d pushed off my long run for 2 days and I have 13 days ’til Broad Street, so I needed a long run or I wouldn’t be prepared. Even though my last run was awesome, for some reason I was iffy, hesitant. No idea why, but when Meb Keflezighi came in, I knew my time had come. I put on my BSR shirt, laced up, and went out the door. I felt like a portable Best Buy, however, with my phone in my pocket, my GPS on my wrist, and my iPod on my hip. The only thing I didn’t have was my laptop, but hey, I finally figured out how to work the GPS, *and* I figured out how to plug in MapMyRun. Now I’m confused because MapMyRun says my GPS watch is wrong, but oh well; it told me I did 10 miles, and the GPS didn’t. MMR wins.

Part of the hesitation may have come from the fact that I wasn’t sure where I wanted to run. I could go to the park, where I go all the time and I knew the route, though I could easily mix it up; or I could go try out the Schuylkill River Trail. I had a vague idea how to get there, but mostly I knew it was a long-ass road (maybe paved? I wasn’t sure, and that was an awful lot of miles to be all paved) that ran from Philadelphia to Pottstown. A great place to train; all I had to do was run half the distance I wanted, and then run back.

When I was wired up and ready, I walked out the front door and turned right, my usual route to the Farm Park. I turned right on Beech with questions in my head: left or right? Right or left? Go for the familiar (if tired) or try something new…and maybe end up in the water? Or worse. The running joke, so to speak, is that it’s always runners who find bodies. My concern was that sometimes it’s runners who *are* bodies.

As I got to the end of the street, I knew I had to decide. It wasn’t ’til I got to the corner that I finally turned…right, toward the Schuylkill River Trail. I did make one wrong turn, at the end of the street where I learned that the Trail started a few blocks south. But as it turned out, it’s all paved, and it’s *really* long. I did great for the first five miles, turned around, did another so-so mile, and then lost all my steam. At least I learned two new runner’s rules in the process:

Runner’s Rule 1: Hydration. It’s the law.

Runner’s Rule 1: It’s okay to run throttle wide open. It’s not okay to run mouth wide open. (Gnats: the other dark meat.)

Feel free to add new rules. 🙂

It was a great trip, though, and I learned a new route, so now I have more options. I told Ryan, there’s going to come a day when I’m going to go for a training run, and I’m going to call him and tell him where to pick me up, because the idea of running all the way home will make me throw up. Hopefully, not because I don’t have water. (The water fountain at a small parking area rest room saved my tail, I’m quite sure.)

Oh, and I’m pretty sure I was passed by Bradley Cooper. He waved as he ran around me. I was still on the good side of my run but there was no way I could catch him. Alas, Robert Frost was still right: I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. (I’ve never once seen a shirtless BC look-alike at the farm park.)

Oh, and I heard this during the WBZ broadcast. It’ll be going on my Run playlist ASAP.