Race #77 – We Shall Never Forget 5K

Last night, I just wanted to walk.  It was the end of a successful beginning to the week (nothing too convoluted about the time in that phrase, eh?), and I wanted to get my new Hoka’s a little more broken in… and it was lovely outside.  Mid-60s… in November?   In Da Lou?  Well, you get the picture.  And, I had the next to last Patriot’s Day racing medals in hand, and needed to earn it.

Unfortunately, I hadn’t really thought about the time change very hard.  There’s a lesson in this, yet to come.

I got into my running clothes, and hit the Greenway around 4:30pm.  I saw that the sun was low, just sitting atop the ridge west of us, but I figured I had plenty of time.  I was really wrong.

Now, part of that was my own doing.  Since I was headed west to start, I had sunglasses on.  I didn’t bring my regular glasses on the trail, and so after the the little golden orb did a big fat plop! below the ridgeline, things got really dark.  Quickly.  Without my sunglasses, things weren’t so dark, but without any glasses, I was like a drunken monkey out there on the trail.

I made a quick decision to turn around at Highway 109 — usually my quarter-distance point — and try to finish the 5km nearer to the lights of the shopping center that starts my path on the trail.

In short order, I was back  where the Jeep was parked, and discovered I was only about 2.8km into the walk.  I needed clicks, and I needed them quick as darkness had truly fallen.  Palpably.  Noticeably.  I think I could even hear it.  🙂

Now, bear in mind I passed the Jeep.  I coulda stopped and gotten my regular glasses… but that never crossed my mind.  So like a blind man, I toddled up the other end of the Greenway to the footbridge, every now and then, taking my sunglasses off so I could see the distance on my Garmin.

Oddly enough, I had a bad case of monkey butt going on — chafing of a kind I hadn’t had since switching to wicking underwear for my running.  And it was starting to be evident that I might not make 5km before the dark and my backside conspired against achieving my distance.

I got back to where the Jeep was parked.  My backside had stopped barking, and I saw that I was sitting a little over 4.5km.  It seemed like a waste not to finish the distance out, so I set out to circle the storefronts to get my mileage.

Note that I was passing the Jeep a SECOND time, and didn’t get out of my sunglasses.

A full lap around the buildings, and I found myself back at the Jeep again, and with about 4.85km on my Garmin.  I headed back up the trail for a quick little walk to finish out the distance.

Again, you should note that I was back at the Jeep for the THIRD time, and didn’t think to doff my sunglasses.

I crawled up the trail the short distance I needed, and got back to the Jeep in the dark of sunset coming almost an hour earlier… and still wearing my sunglasses.  Triumphantly, I changed into my regular glasses and pointed the Jeep toward home.

So, lessons?  Sure, there were lessons.

First, if I’m gonna go running after work this time of year, I need to make sure I get to the Greenway right at 4pm to give myself a fighting chance of finishing while I can still see.

Second, for after work runs right now, I should carry my regular glasses with me so I can change before I become that crazy old man in sunglasses after dark who can’t walk a straight line.

And lastly, when presented with an opportunity to change gear by passing my parking space… DO IT!  🙂

Race Course

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One thought on “Race #77 – We Shall Never Forget 5K”

  1. An example of the sort of current, modern, corect jargon that passes way over the head of this ‘little’ ol’ lady in tennis shoes: “I could see the distance on my Garmin.” Not sun glasses, not reading/seeing glasses so it must be ….huh?

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