Saturday, March 12, 2011

Being in the Wrong Place

One of the bridges crossing Alum Creek.
It was about 7:29 this morning when I realized I was in the wrong place. I was at Alum Creek Park Trail in Westerville and my friends were all somewhere else -- waiting for me. None of them ever has their cell phones on, so I couldn't reach anyone to let them know I was in the wrong place. (We do joke about this. I even tried calling. No one answered.)

For a moment, I thought about heading home or going to a park closer to home. Then I decided I was already at the start of a beautiful walking trail, why not go ahead and walk.

This is not the type of trail I would normally walk alone. It has a lot of secluded sections and often there are not many people on it. Not an ideal place for a woman walking alone -- even if it is a Saturday morning. I didn't have any underlying feelings of fear, so I went ahead. The temps were in the high 20s when I started, so I wore gloves, but limited myself to just one long-sleeved shirt under my wind-resistant jacket. I was chilly, but I knew I would be OK.

This trail is beautiful. It follows Alum Creek with bridges crossing over it in several locations. There are tons of trees, a pond with geese, and other than crossing under Schrock Rd. and 270, you feel as if you are somewhere farther outside of the city on much of the trail. And if you pay attention, you'll notice extras such as the plaques on some of the trees identifying the type, artwork posted on utility poles, some small flower beds or benches made from huge pieces of rock (granite?).

Look for the art.
My plan was to head out for 45 min. then turn around to guarantee I walked at least 6 miles. Because my pace has been getting progressively faster, I had no doubt I would walk faster than a 15-minute mile.

Mentally, I had trouble today. I kept checking my watch to see how long I had been out. That makes for a rough walk. I picked up the pace and tried to keep my heart rate higher -- near 150 -- for most of the walk. That was pretty easy on the way out. Heading back I got slower and my heart rate was closer to about 144 for most of the way. Still, I felt I had a good balance of working hard, yet maintaining endurance to finish.

Though I felt bad about missing my friends, for the most part I enjoyed my walk alone. The course was beautiful and as the sun rose and the temperatures got a little warmer, my mood really lifted. (I live in Ohio and we have a lot of gray days this time of year. A sunny morning is a real treat!) 

On the way home, that 70's Dr. John song ran through my mind:
I been in the right place
But it must have been the wrong time
I'd of said the right thing
But I must have used the wrong line...

Note to my Buckeye Strider friends: This error was entirely my fault! And I really do think it is funny that none of you turn on your phones.

No comments: