Running the Trails–Or At Least Trying To!

After my daughter and I finally made it to the AYBT Basketball Nationals, we had to wait an additional 24 hours for the first game. Last night her team played and won at 7 p.m. and then lost their 9 p.m. game. With a whole day off until the second evening’s games, I planned to fit in a run, but I never got to it. I didn’t want to run on the treadmill, and it looked on the map like there were trails that came pretty close to the hotel. I asked at the front desk and learned that I’d have to drive to a nearby trailhead. Meanwhile, some of the girls and moms wanted to go shopping. I’m not much of a shopper, but I looked forward to the company.

Between meals, shopping, and quite a bit of reading, I never got in a run and suddenly it was time for the games; another win followed by a loss. So, this morning I took a different tact. As soon as I got up, I put on my running clothes. I went to the lobby for the breakfast buffet and felt a bit odd about the way I was dressed…but then at least I was wearing clothes…some people actually eat their breakfast in their pajamas…in public! Of course, when I ran into other parents, I would mention that I was going on a run on the nearby trails. This forced me to actually follow through.

I got into the car with a good idea of where I was going only to find that I was off in the wrong direction. I’m pretty good at reading maps and getting oriented, but I had misread the map. In my defense, it was a rather sketchy map, with only the main streets showing. Eventually, I plugged the name of the trailhead into my map app, but it couldn’t find it so I tried the closest major intersection. Finally, I found my way.

At the trail head, my plan was to lock my keys in my new car and memorize the external keypad to get back  in. I sat there memorizing and decided I needed a back-up plan, so I wrote the code on my hand. That didn’t seem good enough, maybe I’d sweat it off, so I opened up my iPod Touch Notes app and put it in there too. Now I was ready. I got out of the car and locked the door. I tried the keypad and sure enough it worked. Next I put my purse in the car and re-locked it and took a step away. Suddenly I wondered if I could still unlock the car simply by touching the driver door handle. Turns out that I could. So, this great feature, especially great for athletes who don’t want to run or swim with car keys, was no good on a car with push-button start.

I got my keys out of my purse and re-locked the car. Looking around, I couldn’t figure out which way to go, so I looked at the map posted at the trail head. This map, too, seemed to make little sense and seemed to indicate a direction that had me crossing a busy road with no marked intersection. In the end, I just explored and ran down the paved path. It only went about a hundred yards before it took me through a gate and made a hairpin turn on to a gravel track. I followed the gravel, and about a half-mile in, found myself at a maintenance barn and a gravel parking lot. The trail itself became dirt and grass. I kept going, but soon the track turned into a rutted mess and I was concerned about turning an ankle. I turned around and ran back to the car. I figure I ran about two miles. It didn’t seem worth it.

Sometimes, you just have to go through all the obstacles and still not achieve your immediate goal. Even so, I learned a few things and I did get some exercise.

Find the Joy in the Journey…even when it is circuitous and seems pointless!





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