So the plan was simple. Until I got involved.
2-3 loops of the Buckeye Woods 50k course (5 miles each) with the MCRR folks. They said we’d all stay together for one loop, so that everyone would know the course*, and then we could all do our own thing for the 2nd loop.
I don’t especially like everyone “waiting” for me. For one, it makes me run faster than I want to so I don’t look like even more giant fat slow fat loser than I feel. Secondly, I hate thinking that they’re all “SIGH, come on fat loser”. So, insert brilliant idea #1: Flags. I suggested we use the flags I have in my car to mark the turns, which were “all right turns except one”. Which one? Who knows. So the lead group put a flag down at each turn, and then it would be my job to pick them up the 2nd time around, since I’m the sweeper vehicle (aka slowest one there).
The first problem was… we ran out of flags. Not a problem on the first loop, since I did stay with most of the group. Or at least within sight of them. So I managed to make it back the first round for my Gatorade and Honey Stinger Waffle lunch that I brought in a Spiderman Lunch bag. No lie.
At this point, I strongly strongly told everyone they could go on without me. I just wanted to run slower. I’m not that anti-social. Of we all went, and for the first 1.5 miles or so, I could still see the tail end of the group, so I was quite pleased with myself. I was happily picking up the flags and all was well. At some point, it started to get a little harder, so I slowed down a bit, but not too much. Part of the course kinda goes off into the woods, and then back out, so I started to wonder if maybe by picking up the flags, I’d set myself up to not find my way back. But, I figured eventually I’d find my way to the soccer fields, and since I used to play there, I knew they were next to where we parked, so whatever. Carry on. I debated between just turning around at mile 2.5 and heading back the way I came, and pressing on into the woods were I’d possibly pretty much definitely get lost.
As I came upon the next turn, I saw a group of runners coming back out and turning right (so opposite of the way I was coming from). Great! We must come back out here, so I can set these flags down at this corner, and grab them on my way back, rather than carrying them. So I dropped them there, only to realize later… those people weren’t part of my group. Hmm. Now I’m not sure if I’m going to be going that way again or not. Turn around and get them? Or just see what happens?
I pressed on. I made it to the parking lot where we turn around… and then it all went to hell. I was running around in the woods for I don’t know how long before I was like … wait a minute, I’ve already gone this way. And seen that lady walking her dog 3 times. Somewhere I’m screwing this up… I asked the nice dog walker where the soccer fields were. She pointed. Off I went. Then of course another 28 decisions as to whether to turn or go straight presented themselves. Luckily, in this case, my Spidey Sense (HA!) worked, and I came out at the soccer field intersection, just in time to see the group run by, and just as my watch hit 10 miles, which was exactly how far I was planning on running. (Keep in mind, there was still a good mile or so left on the official course.)
So, to make a long story short, which I probably should have done at the beginning of the story as it’s obviously too late now – Not only did I get lost on a loop course, but I also managed to lose a pile of 10 flags while I was out there. I went back today to retrieve them but they were gone. So there’s another mystery. At least the dog and I had a nice 4 mile walk (the flags were a couple miles in).
How was YOUR Saturday run?
*It would take me at least 10,000 trips to know any course. We’ve run the same course on our Friday runs about 30 times, and I still don’t know it. When you’re always in the back, paying attention is optional. When you’re ADHD, it’s impossible. So, I just follow in the back and run along obliviously. Art imitates life, or something.