I SQUEEZED IN MY MIDWEEK RUN before I headed off on a business trip in Canada last week. I ran faster than my assigned time, but I felt good. My coach was nonplussed. “Save yourself,” she wrote. “You have a lot more running to do.”
After I concluded my work late Friday afternoon, I could either relax with a nice dinner and spend one more night in Hamilton, or drive straight home, arrive around midnight, and get up at 6:45 a.m. for a 20-mile run. Given the choice I made, perhaps Hamilton needs a better night life.
So I got to lululemon downtown around 7:15 Saturday morning, and parked in my usual spot on the street near the store. The two-hour limit on the parking meters has presented a problem lately; since runs of 16+ miles take me more than two hours, I risk getting a citation, which is what happened the previous Saturday. This time, the lululemon lady came to my rescue by volunteering to feed the meter for me. Problem solved, I headed out.
The twenty miles took me just under three hours, and except for my IT bands flaring up again, I felt surprisingly good at the end. Because not everyone runs the maximum distance, and those who do are usually faster than I am, I have been the last person back for a few weeks now. This week I was next-to-last, managing to beat out a guy with a bad knee. (Thanks for sandbagging, Farsad.) And better still, the Jeep’s windshield was clear of unwanted paperwork when I got back.
After thanking and repaying the person who fed the meter, checking in with my coach and changing into dry clothes, I left the store and got back in the Jeep – and there was a ticket on it! Apparently the meter had run out while I was upstairs, and the meter cops had pounced. These are new centrally controlled meters, so there’s no way to look at them to find out how much time is left.
Financially it’s more annoying than painful, but this is not a habit I want to get into. Looks like my choices are: a) stop running so far, b) find somewhere else to run, or c) find somewhere else to park. Alternatively, I could start and end the run at home. I’d have to leave the house at 6:30 to arrive on time for the group run. I’ll consider it. Maybe.