Saturday, February 28, 2009

Getting lost and finding my way

As part of a free stuff give away this week, the Runners Lounge asked about stories of getting lost and finding our way back home.

I'm quite familiar with this topic, as I make it a point to run and explore every new city I visit. It gives me a chance to see the city through the eyes of a local and I see parts of the city that would never be highlighted on a map.

What comes with that, though, is constantly getting lost. As hard as I try to do an out-and-back, it almost never happens. I end up running in different directions either because something interests me, or, well, I just want to run in that direction. It's not so difficult in a more rural area where everything doesn't look the same and you can look at landmarks. In a city, well, that's where it gets interesting.

So how I find my way back when I get lost in a city? The good part about most cities is that they have public transportation. And with public transportation come maps. I just run from one stop to another, making sure I'm going to right way, until I end up back at my original destination.

I specifically recall this working in Dublin, Amsterdam, Cork (Ireland), Los Angeles and San Francisco. San Francisco was the first one where I realized I could look at the transportation maps, and it was when I had already hit the point of panic and a lot of miles after running through Golden Gate Park.

I guess it seems obvious now, but at the time, I had never thought of looking at bus or subway maps.

I mean, sure, I could ride public transportation, but then I'd have to figure it out and pay for it. Nah. Getting lost gives me more excuses to keep running, more excuses to keep exploring.

I typically won't ask for directions, either. That spoils the adventure.


Mel-2nd Chances said...

lol, a man not asking for direction!?? Never heard of such a thing! But I would love to get 'lost' running in those places. You're so right about it being an excellent way to explore. Even in the city I've lived in for 15 year, I'm still seeing many new things since running.

Marlene said...

I agree that running is a great way to explore a new city. I hope to have the opportunity to do more of this...

Susan said...

Very smart!

My worst, and perhaps only, story of getting lost is quite embarrassing. It was one of my few group runs, although I knew no one. There were PRINTED DIRECTIONS and I somehow still managed to get lost. Silly me! I made it back to my car, but a completely different way than I originally went.

Petraruns said...

I was about to make Melanie's point - a man not asking for directions? That would be spoiling the fun! But I too love running in new places and I too get lost - but it's SO worth it..

ShirleyPerly said...

Sadly, I don't think I could ever get lost running any more. Two near-attacks while out running have made me ultra-conscious about safety and knowing my routes. I did once get lost in a convoluted subdivision next to mine, though, which was pretty funny. I ended up following a bicyclist to find my way out.