I’ve mentioned before on here that I don’t like driving. I’m a very nervous driver– especially on the highway– and I have a tendency to anticipate the worst. For example, I was almost rear-ended once about a year ago when I was leaving a doctor’s appointment and I came very close to never going back to that doctor because the thought of driving on that road again made me too nervous. Thankfully, there’s a part of my brain that’s still rational about these things, and I’ve driven back there several times since then without incident. But I still don’t like it.
Needless to say, I don’t like having to drive to go running. Other than races, my runs have traditionally started right at my front door. (When I was in Philadelphia I was lucky enough to live in an apartment less than a mile from the Schuylkill River and the start line of most of the big races, which meant I could leave my apartment building, jog to my corral, and go. I was so spoiled!).
When I was coming back from my stress fracture last year my doctor instructed me to avoid running on the sidewalks and roads since the harder surfaces were less friendly to my healing bone. So I started driving to the track and the gym and the trail near my house. Several months later, I’ve continued to drive to the track and the gym and sometimes to the trail (unless I’m doing a long run). Typically these drives have been NBD since I’m not going far and– at least early on weekday mornings– there aren’t many other cars around to make me nervous. Probably the worst thing I come across early in the morning is the occasional possum, and I think my fear of possums (unlike my fear of driving) is perfectly justified:
(By the way, I think I’m going to have nightmares tonight after doing a Google Image Search for possums).
In short: I don’t like driving and I don’t really like having to drive to places to go running but sometimes I’ll make an exception.
Today was one of those exceptions. My motivation to go running this week has been really low. Work is crazy, it’s been cold and rainy for what feels like forever, I haven’t been sleeping well, etc. The excuses are plentiful. But I really needed to run 10 miles today since the Austin 10/20 race is only 3 weeks away and I’ve barely gotten in any double digit runs since the 3M Half Marathon in January. So I decided to drive down to Lady Bird Lake (not really a lake but bear with me) and run along the trail there. I rarely run there since it’s not close to my apartment and getting there involves operating a motor vehicle. But I thought a change of scenery from my usual neighborhood runs would help me get this done.
When I was about half a mile away from the City Hall parking garage (where I parked using the Gentleman’s work parking pass, huzzah!) I realized I’d forgotten to put on my Garmin. Derp. I came very close to heading home before deciding to suck it up and carry my cellphone.
The run was fairly uneventful: 10 miles in 1:27:27 (8:42 pace). It was a little drizzly outside but I managed fine without a rain jacket. My energy seemed to dip in the last 2 miles and I made a mental note to either eat more before my 10 mile race or carry Gu. When I got back to my car I was eager to get home to a hot shower and breakfast.
I had some trouble unlocking my car because my hands were so cold. (It wasn’t below freezing outside but I was wearing wet clothes and I have diagnosed Raynaud’s, which means my hands will turn a variety of colors and go numb when they’re cold). Finally, I opened the car, got in, and…it wouldn’t start. Thinking I might have triggered the anti-theft system while struggling to unlock it, I tried locking and unlocking it again to no avail. Eventually I gave up and called the Gentleman, who fortunately was home and able to get in his car and drive down the garage to bail me out. I then spent what felt like an eternity running back and forth between the parking garage entrance (I was supposed to pass him the parking pass when he arrived so he could get into the garage) and my car (I was guarding the spot next to my car so the Gentleman could get close enough to give my car a jump). All this time I was shivering because I was still in wet running clothes and my attempts to Google “mini cooper won’t start” on my iPhone yielded results for “minig cofoes wont stabf” because my hands were too numb to type.
The Gentleman arrived and we were able to get my car going again. We’re taking it to an auto place tomorrow morning since this isn’t the first time it’s failed to start this year and the battery isn’t very old, which makes me think there’s an electrical issue going on. When I got home I immediately hopped into a hot shower and stayed there until my hands got white and tingly and became usable again. Then I devoured some eggs and avocado toast.
On the upside, running in my neighborhood is looking a lot nicer now.