The most recent and most literal one I stumbled upon today. I went out for my long run this afternoon and noticed there was a detour along my normal running route.
“Path Closed from 9/30/13 to 6/20/14,” the sign read.
June 20th!? Of 2014!?
Determined to abide by the rules, I followed the detour signs that led me through a very scary neighborhood.
You’re telling me I have to run through this neighborhood until summer of next year??
I don’t think so.
Here’s the thing. When I set out for my long runs on the weekend this is what I like to do: I wake up when I wake up. Sometimes it’s 7am and sometimes it’s 10am (or later) like today. I drink my coffee slowly while reading a book. Then I cook myself some sort of breakfast. Only getting one full day off a week, I like to enjoy myself. Then I get dressed in my running clothes, foam roll my hamstrings and eventually make it out the door. Now that there’s cooler weather, running later is actually beneficial.
Nine times out of ten, I don’t drive anywhere, I just head out the front door. I am less than half a mile from the South Platte Trail in Denver and it goes for miles, literally, in either direction. I looked it up; I think the total length is 30 miles. I’m kinda in the middle of it, so I can choose either direction.
In the past, I would go left (north) but then one day I was grabbed while running. (You can read the story here) and I haven’t gone that way since. Luckily there’s 10-15 miles (or more) of trail to the south.
Back on topic, since I normally go south, I left my house this morning, got on the trail and about a mile down the sidewalk I encountered the god-awful sign declaring my safe path would now detour through a sketchy neighborhood!
I’m already scared to go left, now my “right” path is scary!
I was brave. I went on with my run, but I did stumble across some sketchy individuals that gave me weird looks like, “you don’t belong here.” I’m glad there was other bikers and runners here and there that were also on the detoured path. Ironically, I didn’t bring my normal precautionary items with me. I usually put on my road I.D. and if I’m in an unfamiliar place, I’ll carry pepper spray. But this time, I didn’t even bring my phone!!!!
Not wanting to disrupt my run because I was feeling fantastic, I just stayed focused on the street and followed the arrows, not making eye contact with anyone. On the way back, I did see a biker go around the barricades and as I approached the area again, I saw that it was literally only a block or two in length that was blocked off and the detour added about half a mile to the run (each direction). No signs of construction yet. I made a mental note to break the rules next time and run around the signs on the grass as long as there is no signs of danger (or police) are around. I have no idea what their plan is, but I don’t like it whatever it is.
Somehow I feel like my run today was a metaphor for my life. There has been lots of “construction zones” and I’ll probably have to take the detour more than once.
Oh my, that was kinda corny.