Sunday, April 30, 2017

Lost in Gaithersburg

Part 1

Danny Boy is hopelessly lost, but that's not his primary concern. His primary concern is that he's running so stupidly slow. How slow, you ask? So slow that he once again may not get enough miles in to call it a long run before the clock runs out.

He has run these roads before, and he's likely been lost here before; 18 years before. Last time, he was here for a consulting engagement that went on for months. He got to know the roads quite well then. This time, here for the People's Climate March (for which he has to be concerned about getting back), he's doing some measure of re-learning.

Learning can be a slow process, however, and such is most definitely the case for Danny Boy today. Another old adage comes to his mind: the faster you run, the more lost you can get. He slows down even more whilst pondering this bit of wisdom, and that only makes things worse. Good thing he's only half-way through his long run. He can always speed up for the second half, can't he?

Danny Boy manages to find his way back to the Marriott by mile ten. He still has eight to go before he can call this run long, and this is important. It's only important because he's tried and failed so much in recent weeks. But now that he's not lost, he had better get moving faster.

Somehow, he does. The gel, sport beans and water probably helps. It's warm and humid - unusual for April. But it's also ironic that the People's Climate March should occur on a record-setting day; the temperature, in the seventies now, would reach 91 later on.

Oh yes, the run. Danny Boy begins doing 1.5-mile loops around the pretty little lake and surrounding shopping area. Each one gets a little faster. Danny Boy successfully runs 18 miles. Hooray for Danny Boy!

Part 2

The good news is that Danny Boy is rich! He has found 2 dimes and 2 pennies. Together with the penny he found yesterday, that makes.... he's trying to add it up.... a lot of money! The not so good news is that he's lost again. The worst news is that he's running even slower than during his lost miles of the previous day.

This day is warm and oppressively humid. Danny Boy, still recovering from yesterday's long run and hot march, is having a difficult go. But he wants to get ten in, and by Jove, he's going to do it. He has now determined how he's been managing to get so lost, and how he managed to get even more lost during his runs of 18 years ago:

1) The roads to not go straight. Yes, there are hills to get around, but it appears that the roads mostly make dramatically strange angled turns, just because they can.
2) The road names change. And this too is for no reason at all; it's also probably just because they can.
3) Road names sometimes take the name of a perpendicular road, whilst the one going straight takes on a different name.
4) Road names at intersections are either not stated, or are just plain wrong.

Danny Boy makes it back in ten excruciatingly slow miles. But he does make it back.


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