First of all, I had complete intentions of blogging while I was at my work conference. I even lugged around my computer for the trip despite it’s size and weight (I have an older mac and I’m not ready to pull the trigger for a newer model when this one is still up and running). But get this: the hotel charged $12 a day for internet. Whaa? I didn’t even know people still did this! Granted, they did offer free happy hour drinks/snacks along with a free full breakfast daily but the internet thing threw me. Considering I was only in the hotel room to sleep – I’m not even kidding I was barely there, it didn’t seem like a wise choice of spendage.
I do want to fill you in on the run that nearly destroyed me. ***Only minor exaggeration ahead!*** Indy has a Trader Joe’s and from my investigation they had 2 within a 12 mile vicinity of my downtown hotel. My coworkers weren’t all hot to drive there so I decided I was going to run it. I needed a long run that was roughly this distance and the idea blossomed in my mind. I briefly considered Indy may have a few not-exactly-safe neighborhoods but remember? Denial? I decided to “run” (ha!) with it.
My coworkers weren’t terribly thrilled with this idea. Since we arrived on Saturday and the planned run was Sunday I started asked questions as soon as we got to the hotel. I printed out directions ahead of time but alas, left them in the printer. One person said it was super easy to get there and I just needed to run up this main street and I was good to go. I talked to a friend who lives in the area and he introduced me to the Indianapolis Cultural Trail which ever so nicely leads to the Monon Trail. In turn, this leads to Trader Joe’s. Bravo!
My friend also told me to hit up the TJ’s on 86th street as the one on 82nd wasn’t in a good area. He also told me to turn right at the end of the trail and my mecca would be 10 minutes away. I felt very confident. It was a beautiful day for a run – 50’s, a shiny sun and I felt pretty good. The trail was fairly easy to navigate, however there was one weird corner where I took a wrong turn and ended up with an extra giant circle of steps. With this detour, I’m guessing I was at roughly a mile and some change. I don’t know for sure since my garmin didn’t like Indy all that much and it took some time to find a satellite. I found my way and then soon I was on the Monon Trail. Since I knew the distance to TJ’s, (12 miles) I wasn’t concerned about the wrong turn.
The Monon trail is fantastic. There were a few inclines but nothing horribly challenging. Most of the scenery was nice and again, it was such a beautiful day! For the most part, I was accompanied by other runners and bikers so I didn’t feel unsafe. Since the trail crosses major streets, there were cross walks at numerous intervals but trail blazers have the right of way and Indy drivers were very courteous. I even saw a cop drive down the trail. I was pretty tired at the 10 mile marker and had to keep an internal pep talk going but I knew I was almost finished. Yay! I should mention my garmin died at mile 7 since it wasn’t fully charged when I started.
The end-ish of the trail hits 86th street, I took a right as instructed. My phone then said I was going toward 82nd. Hmm… maybe my friend got a bit directionally challenged? This wouldn’t be the first time, so I turned around and started heading in the opposite direction toward the 86th store which “shouldn’t” be too far so I kept running. And running. And running. Great scott, I thought I was tired at mile 10. Mile 13, 14 and 15 I wanted to crawl to the side of the road and weep. I certainly wasn’t ready for this distance and the grocery store was nowhere to be found. I did take my GPS out and it finally said I was almost a 1.5 away. Since I couldn’t find it, I briefly thought about turning around to the other one however, now this one was 4.4 miles away. A conundrum indeed. I did what any sane person would do when their calf muscles are so tight it felt like it was pulling away from the bone with every step, was getting dark, in a strange city, and getting cold; I turned around. Yep, I admitted defeat, cursed my friend for his misguided directions and hung my head. I was a few blocks away from a Baskin and Robbins I had spotted and went directly there. This was approximately 7:45 pm and I started my journey at 4 pm. I got some ice cream, talked to some locals who were astounded when I told them I ran from downtown and then called a cab. 45 mins after that, Roy (my cab driver and new friend) picked me up and mocked me a bit about how I ran all that way and then was picked up by a taxi at an ice cream place. It WAS funny, however I just wanted to get back to the hotel and EAT EVERYTHING.
A burger was on my plate within a half hour of returning to the hotel. I legit took 10 mins to clean up and then we walked to the restaurant. I drank two 24 oz glasses of water throughout dinner and cleaned my plate (not a normal thing for me). Here is the crazy/nutty part of the story: the next day I was watching the news in between sessions. There was a bank robbery on the very street I was running on that evening! I mean, I was RIGHT THERE the night before. Yes, this completely weirded me out!
My coworkers did end up taking pity on me and we stopped at TJ’s on the way out of Indy. I was all prepped to buy 3 bags of peanut butter filled chocolate covered pretzels and hoard them. Typically, I portion them out and allow myself one serving (5 nuggets) per day. And yes, I really do stick with this. Guess what? They were out. I did console myself by buying a bottle of wine. But seriously? Why universe WHY?!!!
This is the end of my running saga… thanks for hanging in there!