Tonight I was planning to run about 6 miles easy. Key word in the sentence is 'was'.
A little background. I live near a park with a nice running trail. The problem is that there is no easy way to get to this park from where I live. It is exactly one block Northwest of my house but the sidewalks end on every street that runs to the park! This means I have to leave the relative safety of the sidewalk and run on the few inches of leftover pavement the road builders put down. This puts me at the mercy of every hyper-caffeinated, cell-phone chatting, make-up applying, minivan-driving, Mario Andretti wanna-be, soccer mom trying to get their little heathens delivered to said park for soccer/football/lacrosse practice. I like living on the edge but not that much.
So they built a new Lowes on one of the streets leading to the park and in the area where that street didn't have a sidewalk. So I thought I'd run up there and see if getting to the park had gotten any easier. It hadn't. Good thing I had my Road ID. Almost got to use it tonight.
I made it to the park but noticed that I was going to get more than 6 miles if I ran a lap of the park and then returned the way I'd come. So I thought (first mistake) I'd look for a shorter route back to my house. A friend who lives up in that area had mentioned that there was a path through a nearby housing complex that could help me avoid the road-with-no-sidewalks and get me back in a more direct way. I got on that trail, the problem was I couldn't figure out how to get off it. I was in one of those housing developments with many turns and dead ends. At 7 miles I knew I was in trouble. It was getting colder and I still didn't know how to get out of the complex and back to a street I recognized. I eventually saw the road I wanted to be on but couldn't get to it because everyone on the street I was on had large privacy fences that I wasn't sure I could climb. Probably had large dogs too.
Then I saw my salvation in the form of a water drain that ran between two houses and there was only a small chain-link fence between me and the road. I went for it. Did I mention the dogs? They didn't like me. They sure as hell didn't like me climbing the fence but I made it. This put me in a construction site. It seems they are tearing up this road. Nice. It hasn't rained in Oklahoma for weeks, months maybe but guess what I found on the other side of this fence. Mud. lot's of mud. I love my shoes. I love them like children. My children got dirty. And heavy. And when I ran clumps flew off of them.
So this construction put a damper on my direct route home. I couldn't get across the mess so I had to head directly South and was planning to go all the way to the end of the block, UNTIL, I saw the field. Nothing in the field so why couldn't I just run across this field, cross the Railroad tracks, and make a direct line home? So I did. Did you know they put fences along Railroad tracks now days? I didn't. They use barbed wire too. Luckily I looked around and found a place where I could squeeze under one piece of fence and over another. Ha! Nothing can stop Willie now. There was a cemetery on the other side of the tracks. Why would you put a fence around a cemetery? Don't want anyone to escape? Afraid people will be dying to get in? Crowd control? At this point I was committed so I had to just climb the damn thing and no, it wasn't in a cool way either. It was done in an old-man, butt hanging out, uncoordinated kind of way.
Don't worry I made it home safe and sound. I know you were worried! Stop laughing!
Almost 9 miles on a 6 mile run.
Thanks for listening.