Yesterday I ran home from work. Let me say, it was in the mid seventies and gorgeous. My car is on the fritz, as always, and after I picked the SO up, he dropped me off at my workplace and then headed on his way.
Since I work so early in the morning what normally happens is I go to work a little earlier, leave during deadline, rush to get the SO, rush to bring him to work, rush to get back to work to make sure that all of my things for the paper are finished and then I can help other people out if they need it. The night before I asked if it would be okay for him to just drop me off at work (it's only a couple of minutes out of the way) and then I would make it home on my own. He agreed. It worked out perfectly. I picked him up, he dropped me off. I was at work at least 15 minutes earlier than otherwise. Bam, great.
I had more grand plans. Let me tell you that at about 3:00 p.m. yesterday afternoon, an hour after I had left to get home on what was supposed to be a 3.5 mile run, I was regretting my decision.
I had brought workout clothes to change into at work and I had my purse. A water bottle, etc. all the things you need for work and working out. As the time for me to leave drew nearer, I wondered, 'How was I going to get it all home?' I wasn't. I left my purse, brought my wallet and put the keys with the water bottle. Manageable enough. The clothes I left at work. I could pick them up the next day, along with everything I didn't need in my purse. Okay, obstacle one, down.
I headed out after walking to warm up a bit. The course was unknown to me in the way of running. I had mapped it out the night before, 3.5 miles wasn't too far, and it was pretty flat. I drove it all the time, so I should be fine. Well, I should have been fine, but nothing could be easy yesterday, and so I changed my route. At the time, I didn't know that it would be hard. I didn't know I was challenging myself more, but I was.
What I estimate is about a mile into my route, I veered off course. There was a path I passed that followed the river. I thought I knew where the path came out, right by the road I would take up to our neighborhood. It was hot, I was getting hotter (that's what you get when you run at the hottest part of a beautifully sunny day!) and I thought the breeze coming off the water would feel delicious. It did, for about ten minutes. then the lack of trees all along the path that would have been shaded had I stuck to my original route started to wear on me. I figured I had right around 1.75 to 2 miles on this path, I could stick it out. I knew I could.
Time passed, slowly. It felt like I had been on that path for forever! No shade, the breeze had been gone for a while and while the river was lovely with the sun and the trees (that weren't covering the path) and the flowers lining the path, I was tired. Tired from lack of sleep, a long day at work and all the things I wanted to accomplish that afternoon weighing my shoulders down as my wallet and my completely over-sized water bottle pulled on the ends of my arms.
Finally I saw the path coming up to a big curve, a curve I knew met the road near the road I would take home. Relief surged and I turned my then-walking legs into running legs and made it to the end.
Where was I? I had no idea. It took me a few minutes to get my bearings. When things finally settled into context I found out I was a little off course, it turns out I was about 1.25 miles off course! So, since my legs were still the only way I was getting home, I trekked on. I made it home, about 25 minutes slower than I wanted, more tired that I wanted, but with a slight tan from the rays of the sun. I was kind of interested in how far I actually went. I knew it was farther, I just didn't know how much farther. 4.75 miles. I went 4.75 miles! In the heat, in the sun, when I wanted to quit (and when my MP3 player did) and I didn't stop.
If this was a story for the paper tomorrow the headline would read as above: Error in judgement leads to new determination.
I did not have a good afternoon. I was tired and sulky and a little miffed that I caused my extra-long workout, but when I sat down to think about it, did it really matter? I burned more calories, really did enjoy the river even with the extra heat, I just had to walk more along my route due to the heat and the extra distance. I still accomplished what I could when I got home and am no worse for wear today. I proved to myself that I can go further, longer than planned, and I can do it again. Oh yes. I'll be doing it again!