This morning I had a long run on my schedule, so I decided I wanted to do a seven-miler. I plot a course based on “well, it’s about a mile to the loop that I run at lunch, and that’s about three miles, so if I add another two miles on this other path and then run home, that will be seven.” Really scientific, right?
So I told T. where I’d be going, how long I expected it to take me and set off. As I’ve said before, I start every run wanting to quit, so I was working hard on not psyching myself out because this was a longer run than usual. (I’ve done a few 7 milers, but not a lot of them.) I gave myself little benchmarks where I would be “allowed” to walk – red lights, certain intersections, the turn around point on “the extra 2 miles” part of the path, etc. At what I approximated to be the five mile point, the wheels started coming off. I was taking much longer than I’d expected and by my calculations, I was going to get back much later than anticipated and thus be late for work, so I called T. to have him pick me up about a mile from home, saving me that section of the run and getting me home sooner. T. doesn’t answer his phone, so I leave him voicemail with the plan, figuring he’s just upstairs or away from the phone and keep plugging along.
I get to the Hawthorne Bridge, around what I’m guessing is mile six and take my phone out to see if T. has called back. He hasn’t, so I try him again. Voicemail again. This time, I don’t leave a message, but hope he’s on his way to meet me. I cross the bridge, now taking walk breaks and feeling generally down on myself, but using T. as my motivation, manage to finish running across the bridge and to the meeting point. I arrive at the meeting point and T. is not there. I call again and get voicemail AGAIN.
Now the wheels come fully off. Run is over. Walking (and crying) commence. Melodramatic thoughts start up. (Really, I could be dead in a ditch, right? What if it were an emergency? and so on… ) I make my way home, working myself up into a nice state of anger and self-pity, because after all, I still couldn’t manage to run seven miles, even without all of the T. drama. So, I open the door and there’s T, cleaning up the apartment. He takes one look at my face and sensing that something bad is about to happen, asks “What’s wrong?” I unleash my fury on him, he explains that he still had the volume turned down on the phone from his office and my anger is quickly deflated.
So when I get to work, I decide to check my actual run mileage on Gmaps pedometer. It turns out that I ran 8.5 miles and that all of that “about this” and “approximately that” had in fact added nearly 2 and a half miles more to my route. So, I went from feeling like crap to feeling like a total stud. I’ve been debating doing the Shamrock Run’s 15K option this year (as opposed to the 8K I’ve done the past two years) and now I’m going to go for it.
If only I could trick myself into thinking it was only seven miles…