When: Saturday, March 26, 2011 6:45 AM-10:30 AM. Central Standard Time
Where: Veteran's Park (21st & Boulder)
Turn It Up
We all are familiar with the adage of “one good turn deserves another”, and there seems to be an intuitive logic and natural order to such non-cluttered guidance. What’s a little more challenging is figuring out what steps to make when preceded by a series of “bad turns” – like those experienced during last Saturday’s training run.
Even more difficult is the task of determining when enough directional guidance assistance is enough – already.
It wasn’t from a lack of preparation, and certainly not from a lack of applied technology that led to our undermining. We had printed instructions, Technicolor-highlighted route maps, global position system tracking devices, electronic turn-by-turn guidance alerts, local area knowledge, and were even accompanied by several runners who professed route familiarity. But yet, not surprisingly to those who have trod with us before, we managed to get off course – and not just once. Not technically “lost”, but yet admittedly conflicted on how to get back to where we were expected to be.
What we weren’t lacking were multiple conflicting opinions of which direction to go, including suggestions of retrace our steps in hopes of finding the elusive, and surely heavily camouflaged, “correct turn”. The upside is that our wanderings presented us with the opportunity to have multiple intermingling with less directionally challenged RW groups (translation: Groups with run leaders who place a trace amount of emphasis on harmony, and also observe the “try to bring everyone back that you started with” objective – or was that more of a suggestion?). The friendly salutations of “Where have you guys been?” are such a welcome sound – the third time as welcome as the first. One might reasonably wonder whether anything short of double barricaded streets, guide dogs, or certified mapologists would keep us on the straight and narrow.
Taking the higher trail, with time to develop proper excuses, we Dom-N-8RZ proudly justify our apparent directionally challenged attributes as being a ruse. Yeah, that’s it. We wanted to gauge the group's problem solving and conflict resolution skills. This also presented us with the opportunity to assess whether we would come together when presented with a little controversy, simulating upsets that can occur during a marathon, where the unexpected can always and usually does happen. Or, we are uberly concerned about ensuring that the 'Noes & 'Nettes aren’t cheated out of their fair share of training miles, so we cleverly incorporate feigned extra detours to pad the Garmin-o-meters. And finally, there’s something that could likely be said about presenting the opportunity for additional cultural experiences by going where no runners should ever go alone. Master Plan.
Sensing that there still might be a skeptic or twenty among us, we are dedicating this week’s training run to staying on the designed course. Further, knowing that just about anyone can follow an explicit scripting of mazerly left and right turns orchestrated in random order, we have bravely accepted the challenge of staying on a course that is primarily void of turns, and one that is an out and back. We realize that human nature is to constantly be in search for life’s next turn, to explore unchartered territories, and to defend to the end that we aren’t lost.
So it will be especially challenging to follow a straight line. Seeing the same course, in reverse fashion, on the return trip will probably cause a lot of freaky anxiety moments. This would be a good time to repeat our oft practiced Dom-N-8RZ reassuring mantra of “Believe in your Run Leader – Believe in your Run Leader – Believe in your Run Leader”. See, I feel better already, sort of, if I don’t think about it. (Privately, I just don’t think we can stand losing another 3 or 4 runners without the RW brain trust starting to ask a few snoopish questions.)
Sensing our collective calmed nerves and anticipation for our next outing, let’s book it for 6:45 AM’ish on Saturday at Veteran’s Park. We have goal distances of 10 (Int) and 20 (Adv) miles. This will be a destination run, with the opportunity to look back with the benefit of a vertically assisted vantage to “see from whence we came”, and to experience a little elevated air. For those sporting tunes, Turn It Up may just come in handy.