Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Running on Empty?

February 22, 2014
I was out of town over the weekend.  We had a Girls Trip to planned in Nashville, TN.  It was the trip that almost didn’t happen.  One friend has a very ill sibling and wasn’t 100% sure if she should go or be with family in California.  Then Thursday night, my husband checked our basement and discovered an inch of water.  All of the melting snow and then the rain became too much for the sump pump and it quit working.  What a mess and some things that we never got around to hanging up and were still leaning against the wall have been damaged.  However, he still wanted me to go and said he would take care of everything over the weekend.  God bless him.  But then on Friday about 30 minutes north of Louisville, Kentucky I got a text from my brother stating that he was at the hospital with my Mom.  I quickly gave him a call (actually I called the wrong brother first) but it was determined that I should just go on to Tennessee because it wasn’t “life threatening” and they would keep me posted.
Although I knew there would be foolishness happening and staying out way too late, I packed my running gear in hopes of at least squeezing in a short run at some point.
Even though we went to bed around 2:00AM and I was awake around 7:00AM I still decided to suck it up and get out there Saturday morning.  After breakfast, my friend and I went on a casual walk which was nice to have that time alone with her so that we could just talk.  Then we came back to the hotel and while everyone was trying to decided what to do, I got directions from a high school classmate that lives down there to a park close by where I could run.  He told me it was about 4 blocks away – it was actually 6 blocks.  It was a lovely walk past Vanderbilt University. 
However I got to the point where I need to turn either left or right and chose “left” which was incorrect so I was walking down a road where some of the fraternities and sororities were.  Many of the house were deck out for Mardi Gras parties and there were lots of empty beer bottles and Red Solo Cups scattered around on the ground!  I found some security guys and the told me I needed to go back north.  Oh well, it was a fun little diversion.
Finally I found Centennial Park.  I’ve actually been there before but didn’t realize that’s where I was going.  I had my Garmin on but I wasn’t sure where I was supposed to run in the park.  Was it along with the traffic?  Was there a running/walking path?  As I walked further in I saw some bathrooms so I thought since I was there I might as well stop.. CLOSED!  Hmmm…this could be problematic later.  So I kept walking and saw two porta-potties.  Not my favorite but now I really had to pee.  One was “regular” and one was handicap.  Just as I got closer to the regular one some guys runs up and in.  Should I just wait or use the handicap one?  Well, I opened the door to the handicap one and inside was someone’s “stuff” – suitcase, bags, etc.  This was certainly my clue NOT to go in there.  The guy didn’t take long so then it was my turn.  As you can imagine, it was not pretty in there; there was no lock and no toilet paper.  Luckily I had a Kleenex with me.  I was praying that this would be the last time I needed a bathroom.
So I walked around a little more and looked for other runners and walkers and once I discovered some, I found the path to run on.  And much to my surprise - not long into my run - I noticed an arrow and a marking that read 1/4 mile.  I made it just over 1 1/2 miles and was getting thirsty but didn’t see any water fountains anywhere.  And….I sorta had to pee again.  On the west side of the park near a playground area, I noticed another building that looked like it might be a restroom facility.  I ran over to check it out and SUCCESS!  It was a restroom.  It wasn’t the nicest but better than the porta-potty I was in earlier.  No doors on the stalls and they must have had a problem with the toilet paper being stolen in the past because this was the roll holder.  Fancy,huh?
029After washing my hands I decided that I would try some water from the sink and prepared myself for it to be awful tasting.  Amazingly, it was fine.  So back on the path to try and at least suck it up and complete 3 miles.  After I finished running, I went back into the restroom facility to get another drink.  Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed someone leaving but it looked like a guy.  Sure enough, it was!  I double checked the sign outside the door to make sure I wasn’t in the wrong one.  Nope but he sure was.
Although I had about a half mile walk back to the hotel as a nice cooldown, I walked toward the center of the park and took some pictures.

It was a great day to be out and the park had lots of people running, walking their dogs, pushing strollers and a group of young men were playing football.  And as I was leaving I saw a group of 4-5 ladies walking in to the park while hula hopping.  That was a first!
I’ll admit that it wasn’t a quality run and I only have myself to blame for that but as they say…any run is a good run.

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