Monday nights are normally not a running night for me as my son has chorus practice. The monday schedule involves ending my work day a tad early, pick the little chorister up from karate, head to his practice in Baltimore (with a side trip of 40 minutes to pick up the car-pooling buddy), sit though practice, then head home (After dropping the car-pooling buddy off.) I leave for work at 7:45, and get back hoe around 10:30. Needless to say, I am not going to go run at 10:30 at night. Call me lazy.
Tonight, I followed through on a better plan than just sitting on my butt while the boys sang. While I was at home getting some food into the boy (mmmm. Corn Dogs.) before heading off to get the car-pooling buddy, I changed into my running clothes. I thought that while my son was exercising his voice, I could exercise by running around Baltimore! My only real concern was that I didn’t know Baltimore. This gave me a slight level of fear that I might run into a neighborhood that I had no business being in. My wife seemed to share this concern as she informed me I WOULD asked me very nicely if I would call her when I finished running. Of course I assured her that not only would I do so, but I would also be very careful about where I went. (Though I have to admit, I’m not sure how you tell that you shouldn’t be in a neighborhood before you are…)
One of the advantages of modern-day smart phones is that you always have a map of the area! (Thank you Google!) I pulled out my handy Galaxy Nexus (Hey Samsung, notice the product placement? I’d be happy to get paid for it!) and the map showed 2 parks right near the Maryland State Boychoir Center. Who doesn’t like running in a park? On the way in, I had driven by one of hte parks and it was a golf course. This made the other one, Herring Run Park seem like a better choice. No need to dodge golf balls or carts. On top of that bonus, with the word “run” in the title, it MUST be the right choice!
After this internal dialogue finished – I headed over toward the park, while dodging various flocks of people on the sidewalks. (People travel in flocks now..)
At the entrance to Herring Run Park were a series of trees with purple blossoms just beginning to come out. There was a map of the trails at the entrance, but someone had taken sandpaper to it, and you couldn’t read them. I saw no problem with Randomly guessing which way to go – after all, I was only at a mile and wanted at least 5 tonight and had around 2 hours to do it in!
As I had run by the side of the park before entering it, I had seen porta-potties off in the distance, and looked forward to reaching them (I forgot to use te facilities at the building before I ran). When I reached them, I decided I could hold it… I had visions of the samething happening to the second one – while I was in it!
The trails were pretty, with the plants just starting to enjoy the warm weather just as I was! The Blooms were beginning, leaves coming out and even some birds singing! These are indeed the nights to be a runner! Any time I came to a fork in the path, I would take the one that headed away – as I had several more miles I wanted.
After I left the park (not on purpose, the path I was on came to a road, I certainly wasn’t going to backtrack!) I headed in the direction I THOUGHT I should be going… And then quickly checked my map on my Runtastic as I promptly doubted my sense of direction. Amazingly I was headed the right way, so I ran across a bridge that went over the path I was just on and kept running. I decided I should head toward the other park, as I thought there might be less danger of golf balls hitting me as dusk approached. I tried to head in the right general direction, and realized that I might be in one of the neighborhoods my wife told me not to go in. Sure enough, I was in the middle of it when I realized that it might be one of those neighborhoods.. How did I realize it you ask? Well, I ran by a lady who looked at me with an oddly shocked look that someone was running in her neighborhood.. then she leaned to the side to see who was chasing me.
Then a guy on the side-walk that I was running toward did the same thing.
This is not a neighborhood that sees runners often. But Since I was there, I kept going and did reach my golf course I was aiming for. It was a nice little course, and I did indeed avoid any golfers as they seemed to have left!
I returned to the Maryland State Boychoir Center safely, and yes , I did call my wife. Who, I might add seemed confused as to why I was calling her! Some quick stretching on the side yard, and in I went – to enjoy my water.
I admit to feeling guilty about sitting on the couch with as bad as I seemed to smell. The lady with the Macbook was way to polite to say anything to me about my aroma.. I appreciated that.