Patrick, Patsy's brother, is an Air Force officer and stationed outside of Tokyo. He's also a dedicated runner, and his enthusiasm is proven in this email he sent last week. Since I haven't run in months, it seemed fitting to use his email instead! - Chris
Tomorrow I have an appointment at an off-base hospital. I have never been to this hospital before, but today, the base hospital gave me a map and directions to the place. This hospital happens to be very close to my normal jogging route. My daily run is around 10km (~6.5 miles ).
So today, I get this bright idea to find the hospital today so that I will have less complications tomorrow when I go for the appointment, scout out the parking, see if there are any restaurants, etc in the vicinity - in other words, get to know the neighborhood a bit better. Since it is within the vicinity of my running loop, I decide to run to the hospital and loop back on the roads as depicted on the crude map that was provided to me.
It was a good thing I did this today, because the map was a bit confusing at one point. Some of the roads here in Japan are quite narrow, poorly marked and generally can be difficult to navigate. Regardless, I found it, made my mental notes about the landmarks, and pressed on with my run ...
However, I never did find the "blinking red light" as shown on the map that was cue to take a particular turn that would loop me back. So I kept running, and running (as Forrest Gump would say).
When I run, I don't listen to music. I normally cue up a podcast and listen to talk radio - something different every day to contemplate and take my mind off of running - which I really do not enjoy. For today, I debated which one of two particular shows I wanted to listen to: one was an hour long, the other a little less. I was concerned that the latter would not be long enough so I opted for the one that was exactly and hour. My runs are usually 52 minutes, excluding the warm-down walk when I'm done. However, this mental debate for which to listen to was an exercise in futility because my run exceeded my normal time by over 20 minutes!
As I was saying, as I pressed on with my run, missing my landmark, I came to the stark realization that I was pretty much lost. I thought about calling the wife for an emergency pick up, but was soon thrown further into desperation that she was not home, I didn't have my cell phone, I had no money for a taxi, and even if I could call her, i couldn't even tell her where to pick me up!! So I kept running.
I finally emerged from the bowels of the hamlet I was in an recognized the major road I had come across and the base. Then the elation was deflated by the stark realization that I was on the west side of the base (I live on the east). You see, I was a bit deflated because I could not cut through the base because the base is bisected by the runway which goes north-south, and pedestrians (and joggers) are not allowed to run across it. In fact there really is no way to cross from west side of the base to the east on foot. So .... I had to run around the base (from off-base, following the perimeter).
I finally made it home (obviously) and set a new record for distance ran and calories burned: ~15km (9.25 miles) and 1103 calories. At least I learned my new max distance/endurance. I'm gonna sleep well tonight.
PS. I never did stop running for a break - exception was the cross walks that were controlled intersections.