How often does someone say, "I'm gonna run to the store." Probably quite a bit. Now, how often do they actually run to the store? Well, I never had. At least, not until this past Saturday.
Ever since we moved to South Dakota, I've wanted to run from Belle Fourche, where we live, to Spearfish, where I work and where we do the bulk of our shopping. I even measured the route one day a few months ago just in case but had never actually run it. Well, on Saturday, I finally crossed that off of my to-do list. The schedule called for a 16 miler. We typically do our weekly grocery shopping at the Wal-Mart Supercenter (insert redneck joke here) on Saturday, after I've gone running. Well, it just so happens that if you follow the back roads (as opposed to the 4 lane superhighway), that it's exactly 16 miles from our house to Wal-Mart. I presented the proposal to my wife on Saturday morning. She questioned whether I really wanted to walk around Wal-Mart all sweaty and stinky. I questioned whether or not she had actually taken a look at some of the people who shop at Wal-Mart.
I left the house at a little after 9 while my wife took the kids to see a little kids' soccer game. After the soccer game, they moved on to Wal-Mart and started in on the shopping. Meanwhile, I chugged along, hoping to meet them there at about the same time they were finishing up. Here's a Map My Run link to the route, for anyone who cares. Take a special look at the elevation profile....it's a leg-burner.
The first 10 miles of this route were nothing new to me as this is where I do the majority of my long runs....10 miles out and 10 miles back gives me a good 20 miler. But, I had only seen the final 6 miles one time, when I measure the route, and that was from our car and I've learned from experience that hills don't look nearly as intimidating when you're riding in a vehicle. I also wasn't sure of the location of the mile splits for the final 6 miles because I had failed to write them down during my only drive through of the course. So, in a total departure for me, I ran the last 6 without really knowing what my pace was. As you can see from the elevation profile, the last 6 miles were where the men got separated from the boys...well, maybe not that extreme, but they were tough. I don't think I've ever been so relieved to see a Wal-Mart before.
Upon arriving at our car in the parking lot 2 hours and 17 minutes later, I discreetly shed my sweaty running clothes and threw on some clothes that my wife had brought along for me. Nothing quite like trying to get on a pair of jeans in the front seat of a Dodge Durango when you're 6'3". Then, I went into the store to find that the grocery shopping was pretty much done....perfect timing!
So, mission accomplished. I got my long run in and got out of most of the grocery shopping. How's that for time management?