Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Will It Go Round In Circles

          I like running. I may not like the first half mile or so but once that special feeling kicks in, I'm there. The weather has been pretty weird in New York City lately. One day it is Spring the next it is winter. I know we cannot have a mild winter every year but I could wish for one. A few weeks ago a snowstorm hit and completely covered the running path that I use near my home. Luckily it was a light snow and maintenance was able to clear the paths. So the day after the storm I talked myself into going for a run. I dressed in some warm gear and was on my way. Despite the snow it was not too cold outside so I started running my usual route. I made it almost all the way around the track and towards the finish line, there was a puddle. My "running high" brain told me that I could run through it. So there I was up to one ankle in a puddle of cold slushy snow water. Clutch my pearls! What was I supposed to do? The old me would have used harsh language and went back home. Okay, so I did use some harsh language, then I back peddled out and ran to the right into some more muddy snow. After a little more harsh language, I was back on dry land running towards my start/finish line and kept on going.
           When I arrived at the giant puddle, I chose to run left this time. The left lead me about a 1/4 of a mile away from the start line so I ran past the start line, to the end of the puddle so that the puddle became my new start line. Since I was missing the patch of ground that the puddle covered I felt the need to make it up some way. There is a small hill on my path that  I love but instead of going up the hill, I ran the 1/4 of the mile around the loop to approach the hill on the back end. Do you know what I found on the back end? A steeper incline in the opposite direction. The muscles in my legs twitched because of the unfamiliar hill. I liked the feeling so I turned around and ran it again and stopped at the bottom of my usual hill and ran up in my usual route achieving two incline exercises running around the same circle twice.
          The folly continued as I ran around the path. I figured why not extend my run by running around the playground near the path once and continue on the path that leads to the diversion at the large puddle. I ran this route many times (maybe a few times too many around the hills). What I initially thought would be a two mile quick run around the snow became a 5.73 mile run. I know what you runners are thinking. One more run around the hill and I would have run a 10K. But the moral of my running tale is that one bad puddle don't stop the run. My track measures .82 of a mile. I usually have to run around four times to complete a 5K.  I have been using my double hill and playground route ever since. I turned a .82 mile into a 1.20 mile and with a little extra circle hill running, I run five giddy miles.
         Of course I still have to talk myself into going for a run. But eventually I have to talk myself into stopping. And one of these days I will run six miles.


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