The training center is a "campus" and designed in such a way that you could actually spend the entire 3 day trip indoors. The complex is rumored to be a mile worth of connecting buildings, enabling you to go from your room, to [assuming you can find your way to anything, which is actually a rather lofty assumption] dining, to conference and break out rooms without ever seeing the light of day or breathing a gulp of fresh air. The center likely makes the short list for smallest hotel rooms / beds of all time, too, really giving you the claustrophobic one-two punch. So when I heard some of my co-workers talking about going for a run, I jumped at the chance to tag along, despite my usual reservations about running with people who are faster than me. The exercise plus the rather scenic looking surrounding would be the perfect opposition to our sterile and sedentary environment.
|A picture from the center's website. We ran this nice little woodsy trail until hitting some houses . Two guys and a girl, just like me and the guys...except for the cute blonde with perfect legs part, but you get the picture. Source|
Before we headed out down the center's winding drive [oh fun - a long uphill to look forward to at the very end when we're beat from our run!], I told the guys to feel free to ditch me at any point due to my slow pace, and also warned that I might turn around and head back due to how my stomach had been feeling [did I mention the food there is really great?] They assured me it wouldn't be a problem and even suggested that I could always, "stop and knock on someone's door" if I really had to go after laughing about the bushes as the other possible alternative. The problem with throwing an idea like that out there is that...well, it kinda can stick in someone's head...and after a few miles of jostling innards, the stuck idea can sound, well, good. and feasible.
And so it was that around 3/4 of the way through our run I saw a little house with a screen door and asked the guys, "think I should knock?" I don't think either one of them actually meant that knocking was an acceptable idea, so one of them told me, "look - we're right back at the woods and nearly home." But I knew that "nearly home" wasn't the same as home, and that my stomach doesn't tend to be so patient. Oh, and then there was that winding, uphill driveway awaiting us. "I'm just gonna knock and see what happens," I shrugged, "but you guys go ahead. I feel bad that I've slowed you down and now you'll have to wait on top of that." With that I turned and walked up to the little house. I tried the side door and no one answered. Then the front. At this point my problem likely had also become a bit exasperated from a mental, "no one's home...now you're screwed - what are you gonna do?!" perspective. Feeling a bit panicky, I turned, only to hear the door click open. At first I felt relief. And then I thought, "Did I really just tell the guys to leave me? What if this is like, the dude from Silence of the Lambs, and he's looking for some new fabric to make clothes with????"
Fortunately, it was just a nice lady, who offered me water when I left the bathroom and didn't even make me take my shoes off after the dirt trail. Also fortunately, the guys are total gentlemen who waited for me and didn't so much as utter a minor complaint about having their run interrupted/slowed down/etc. They told me that their rationale was that it might be tricky to explain to our bosses how they hadn't seen me since our run when they left me at a strangers house. Ah, what good guys :)
And although I feel bad about making them wait for my insane pit stop (seriously? who does that? was what James wanted to know when I later relayed the story), I was able to keep a pretty good pace for me. Unfortunately, the Garmin took a while to catch the satellite, but it seems like we went around 4.5 - 4.7 miles in our 43 minute run - to be confirmed later when I can do so research with the Garmin plugged into the computer. Not bad for me!
Aaaand tonight's workout didn't feel so exhausting when I mixed in 4 sub 9 minute mile sprints into my 3 mile run. Maybe some of this pushing myself stuff actually is paying off!! Now if only I can get my ducks in a row to be a bit more consistent with it all...