Wednesday, January 2, 2013

What I Map About When I Map About Running

Happy New Fiscal Quarter!  It was, thanks for asking, a solid three months of running, with a "best-ever" November and December after a "just-shy-of-the-record" October.  The total mileage for the quarter was 239.03 -- a very good number, for reasons I'll explain down at the bottom.

I set state minimums (actual record distances, I think) in Massachusetts, Washington, and Colorado, but of course much of the running was here in the beautiful East Side of the City of Roses.  October, November, and December are shown in green on the second Running Box map:

As you can see, this map doesn't have many seasons left to it.  Still, there's plenty of detail work still to be done out at the north and south extremes, the farthest areas from home, so it will still be a while before I can retire the thing and with it the entire concept.

Meanwhile, my newer motivational concept has turned out to be a lot of fun.  My running Avatar has turned out to be less concerned with straight-line mileage and more interested in side adventures than I expected.  It's a virtual road trip, but it feels just a little bit real!

Here's a map showing the Willamette Valley (the inhabited area of Oregon) and the Pacific Coast to the west of it.  The orange line shows the route I thought I was going to have the Avatar run when I kicked off this exercise two months and change ago.  But, although the overall concept is still the same -- visit IAT Dork Emeritus Morgan in Corvallis, hit the Coast, then loop back through PDX on the start of a transcontinental job -- the details (in green) are all higgledy-piggledy.  First, the Avatar starting finding secondary destinations, such as Silver Falls, the State Capital Building, and the girlhood home of IAT Shakespearean Jennifer.  Then, Morgan left Corvallis for the Winter Break, so the Avatar took a sidetrip up-valley to Eugene, the home of my own attempts at higher education.

On the last running day of 2012, the Avatar entered Eugene from the north and expressed his Fiesta Bowl readiness by heading first to Autzen Stadium, where people who enjoy the University of Oregon's football program like to go and holler in unison.

Then he crossed the Willamette for the third time in his journey, this time on the footpath that connects stadium to campus.  After visiting my freshman dorm, he recreated the trip to class in dear old Chapman Hall...

...and then continued to run past my first and shabbiest ever apartment, the first bar that I ever drank in legally, the first arts cinema where I started getting all pretentious about movies, the first club where I ever saw an awesome live rock show -- all of these in about five blocks.

He ended up spending New Year's Eve the same place that I spent a couple of New Year's Eves -- the Circle K at 13th and High:

It was kind of a tough place to work, but chaos theory makes a pretty definitive argument that if I hadn't taken the job there would be no IAT Dork Emeritus Morgan per se.  In point of fact, however, Morgan exists, so after a quick tour of other Eugene locations (record store, second apartment, third apartment, store I worked at for a year after college, college residence of IAT regular commentor Jenners) I will get on Highway 99 and head back north to Corvallis to pay a visit.


My total mileage for the year was 835.45, which bests my goal of 800 and last year's record of 800.58.  Cool!

My goal for 2013, assuming the legs stay healthy, is 960 -- (20 miles/week) x (4 weeks/month) x (12 months/year).  It's an ambitious jump, but that's why I like the Q4 mileage of 239.03.  It's.... almost.... exactly on pace.  Wish me luck!


Jenners said...

Oh I quite enjoyed this little side trip to Eugene and I'm actually familiar with some of these places (and my former self says Hi! to your Avatar). God … that apartment (mine) was kind of horrible now that I think about it. And yours … wow. You slept in a closet if I recall correctly.

gl. said...