I was so frustrated at myself this evening. All day I’ve been looking forward to getting out to the Whitewater Centre, donning my headlamp and running the trails. I’ve been compulsively refreshing the trail status webpage and holding my breath until it loads and pops up with the elusive trails are OPEN message. Bill came home from work bang on time and I was already completely set to go. Gear on, bag packed, teeth brushed. A quick point to the pizza in the freezer and run down of what the kids had already eaten this afternoon. A kiss and a hug to each of the kids and the husband, and I was out that door, not caring one jot that it was a chilly -1°c out.
Oh… sage words of advice from Sam as I left the house: “Mummy! It is really important that you remember when running to put on your shoes and socks!” Lesson heeded, thanks Sam!
Into the car I breezed and headed off up Woodlawn. I got a bit unsettled as I was approaching South and a car in the left hand lane decided it wanted to be in my space, right in my space, and Bessie had to give him a big old “BEEEEEP!” before he drove straight into me.
I came up to the I-85 junction which would take me South and had a bit of trouble getting into the right lane in time to make my exit onto the ramp and then I breathed a sigh of relief as the Whitewater Centre is plain sailing from there. I was listening to the radio talking about how airport security is being dramatically tightened even more since another selfish idiot attempted to blow up an aeroplane on Christmas Eve, and that controversial full body scans are being introduced. They were questioning whether people will still want to fly if they have to undergo such extreme scrutiny and I was muttering internally that some people have to fly if they want to see family. Air travel is not a convenience for me, but a necessity, and I want to see my Mum and Dad again! And then I suddenly noticed that I had been driving for a while and I hadn’t seen my exit, and actually, I wasn’t even at all sure where I was. The road was unfamiliar in the dark but the lights and built up area didn’t even look as though I was maybe possibly hitting Gastonia.
In a panic I called Bill to ask him to remind me what exit number I was supposed to take. As I dialed I was driving past exit 41. As hubby jumped onto the iMac and pulled up the information my heart sank as I drove past exit 43, Ikea Boulevard. ACK! I hadn’t just missed my exit! I’d taken the wrong direction on the interstate and been driving the wrong way! Thirteen miles in the wrong direction!
I don’t believe it. I’d actually been all set to get to the meetup early for once. Apart from the fact it’s way too cold to keep anyone waiting wondering if you are going to show up or not, I’d actually planned on getting there a tad early to get a bit of a warm up in before hitting the trails proper. I think I mentioned the other day that I really hate being late, but it feels that no matter what I do to be prepared and on the ball that’s what happens, every time. I am so aggravated with myself.
By the time I got to the Whitewater Centre my other trail running fiends had of course already left and were somewhere out there in the dark having a good time. Well it had taken me almost an hour to drive what should have taken me twenty. Dispirited and grumpy I sat alone in my car and waited for the tell tale sign of bouncing lights climbing the gravel hill back to the car park.
When the runners came in looking happy and charged up I decided to hell with it and maybe I would go brave the trail on my own afterall. This decision was cemented when two of the runners switched over to their mountain bikes and prepared to head back out and ride the green trail. I’d not run that one before, but it’s billed as an easy three and a half mile track, and with the knowledge that two friends would be tailing, and no doubt overtaking, me out there in a bit it seemed the most sensible option.
I’m so glad I did. Once I got moving the chill air was not an issue and the path was easy to follow and fairly clear underfoot. I think my Petzl and I also did a pretty cracking pace for running in the dark on an unknown trail and we kept to around a 9 min mile. It felt really good and I was almost tempted to keep on going and hit the South loop too. Maybe next time. *grins*