Monday, October 20, 2008

Stay away from those Google maps!

I was so happy on Saturday when I went on this REALLY REALLY REALLY long run. Two hours, in fact. I went around almost the entire city. I started at my house, went up the big hill I told you about last week, crossed the big street, went up to the bike path, took it all the way to the bridge (a long steady incline, by the way), crossed it, went up (again, almost VERTICAL!) all the way up to Cattinara hospital, KEPT GOING, yeah, past the gas station, to Ferdinandeo street and turned left. I kept going and going until I got to the street that goes down through the Boschetto and takes you all the way down to Via Giulia (Can you believe that? All the way down to Via Giulia, on the road, yes, not taking the short cut!!), turned left, waded through the slow people clogging up the sidewalk, went all the way to Via Carducci (I know, I could barely believe it either, and no, the smog, it wasn't that bad), then took that one parallel street (you know the one I mean, the one that goes from Piazza Goldoni to Via Molino Vento, Corso Saba, no?) to Via Molino Vento, UP THE HILL (I know, I should have been dying by now, but I actually felt pretty good!) and kept going and going until Via Costalunga and took that bad boy all the way to my house, but since I was still short of my goal of two hours, I kept going until I got to that loop where the number 34 bus turns around. I turned around then, and ran home. I sprinted that last twenty seconds or so. I felt great! Two hours EXACTLY!

When I told people about this mega loop that I did, they were dumbstruck, awed-- jaws dropped to the floor, incredulous looks said: "Is that even POSSIBLE? We've never HEARD of anyone going THAT FAR EVER IN THE ENTIRE WORLD!! YOU ARE AMAZING! YOU COULD RUN THAT PUNY PARIS MARATHON TOMORROW!!!" and that's how I felt, too.

Until today. I made a big mistake. I checked the distance using that routing tool on the Runner's World website where you can plot and save your favorite routes...

WHAT?! 15 kilometers??? THAT'S IT??!! IN TWO HOURS?! YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING! I started asking around, verifying streets. Was it really THAT one?? Maybe I was actually on another one that was another 10km away...

But, alas, no. I actually ran 15 km in two hours (I usually run 16k about 30 minutes faster than that, and I'm not even fast!). At this rate my projected finishing time for the Paris marathon? An astonishing, mind-numbing, snail-like SIX HOURS!!! Laura, I don't think there's a balloon color for that. I am in big trouble.

But the truth is, HAL TOLD ME TO RUN SLOW AND I LISTENED (go to his site, you'll see, long runs should be slow, I don't think he meant this slow, but whatever...). The problem is that I wanted to go for a long time (two hours is a personal record) and also get 18-20 km in (I finish half marathons, which are 21km, in under two hours, every time!). So naturally this was depressing.


The next day I climbed up a really steep mountain... it was almost VERTICAL, ever heard of Everest?? It was a little like that! It took three hours up and three hours down, and I felt really great about doing it. Just don't ask how far it was or how many meters up we went. I only know that it was REALLY TALL and REALLY LONG and that my legs feel like wooden planks today.

Let's just leave it at that.


  1. Google maps is the root of all evil - squared.

  2. so I went for a very short, non-hilly, treadmill produced, but quite fast run. I don't know that I'll ever get to the 2-hour stage. BUT - good on you. I'm starting to look at two things - 1 - new sneakers and -2- the running gadget that tells you how much you ran and how fast. Let me know what you think?????

  3. Update: I re-ran this sucker on Saturday and did it in 1:34. Now I am happy! :D

  4. P.s. This is a real picture from that day and I wasn't even at the top of the mountain yet. That's how big it was!