5 of 52: Choices and Trails – Columbia, MD

This week was a solo run.  No race.  No friends.  Just me and My thoughts.  Here’s a random sampling.

  • Damn its cold
  • Baby it’s cold outside (sung)
  • Glad it’s not raining
  • Where should I run?  I have no idea.
  • What should I write about later?

Don’t judge me.  I don’t always get deep.  Insights cost and 13.1 miles is usually not enough to satisfy the muse.

The Run

This run was on unfamiliar territory in Columbia, MD.  I have driven the roads plenty and know my way around pretty well.  But when it comes to running I don’t really know how to string together 13.1 miles on the fly.  My watch will do this for me (I think) but I didn’t really want to be checking my watch for directions.  I wanted to be paying attention and getting as much into my brain as possible.  I wanted the experience.

Screen Shot 2018-12-04 at 12.33.56 PMSo I started on the roads thinking I would do an out and back, make as few turns as possible to keep the math (and directions) simple) hoping I wouldn’t get lost if I had to make too many turns.  Fortunately I was not on the road for long.  You see, the Columbia association maintains a VERY extensive pathway system.  114 miles of paved pathways to put a number on it.  Here’s a map if you’re interested.

I reached a dead end on the roads about 2 miles into the run.  As I hoped – this dead end also gave me access to the trails.  Now, I had been seeing trail entrances the whole way and passed them by, not knowing where they went exactly but at this dead end I gave in.  I wasn’t ready to turn around.  I’m so glad I did.

The trails are long.  They’re long if you don’t make any of the turns – and there are MANY, many turns offering an endless number of variations.  I’m in no place for that so I ran to dead ends mostly and picked the direction that looked like it went on the farthest.  Small decisions have been hard for me lately.  I wouldn’t say I’m overwhelmed by them so much as I just can’t seem to make them.

Not the Run

My to do list is growing, my dishes pile up a bit longer than they used to, and generally just pacing around the apartment or getting in the car and not going anywhere because I can’t decide where to go first.  Not the place where I want to be exactly, but here I am.

The running helps this.  But even that – I have not been able to jump start my mid week running and I could feel it on this run.  I need to work out and run during the week or I will injure myself at some point and my brain needs more than one long run a week to stay healthy.  I may be TOO good at rest and recovery.  So I need to take my fitness every day – lest I become buried under a pile of to dos and dishes.

I have always known that running and exercise and eating well were helping me deal with stress and otherwise keeping my head on straight(ish) but I never thought that my mental state would be able to convince me not to do the things I need to do to stay healthy.  I trick myself into running in the early weekend hours by saying “you don’t have to run, you just need to get out of bed.  Just put your feet on the floor.”  SO I guess I can do the same thing daily…  I don’t have to do everything on my list today – all I have to do is get out of bed.

There’s this movie Momento where the main character has short term memory loss and leaves himself notes every day so he can figure out what to do next.  I’m looking at this particular entry like a note to myself – for when my mind drops a blanket over me and lies to me, makes me forget myself and tells me that all I have to do is be still and everything will be ok.

I know you came here for a run report – but hey.  I’m a person and like probably everyone reading this I have some shit to deal with.  Writing this helped me.  Hope that reading it helped you.

Next Week:  Annapolis Striders Anniversary Run 15k (and then some)




  1. You never fail to disappoint. Always, an interesting read. Start small after your Sat. long run do a short recovery on Sunday. Then on Tue. or Wed lift some weights. On Thursday you could start using your indoor trainer for a few miles rest on Friday and your all set for your long run again on Saturday!



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