Thursday, February 20, 2014

Free Your Mind and The Rest Will Follow

Today's run was a lot of fun.

Usually I'm very strict about the routes I run. I meticulously plan the routes in advance, study them, memorize the turns, visualize lefts and rights and I usually don't stray from the path.  

This means that I don't often check things out along the way, nor do I do exploratory runs. Today, I changed that.

In the last two years that I've been digging into Google Maps, I've noticed a lot of things that seem interesting I and I've planned runs around them. The other day, I noticed something new. I saw a pedestrian bridge that crossed the railroad tracks at Safdarjung Railroad Station. Now this station is a part of the Railroad Six Miler. I've run that route at least six times since 2012. The route passes the front of the station, and I've never seen a bridge. I chalked it up to a mapping error.

When I woke up today, I was tired and didn't want to run. I didn't run yesterday so I forced myself to get up and run. To make it more interesting and fun, I decided to go off-route and explore the possibility of a "bridge" over the tracks. I started out on familiar, well-worn roads that have been part of many of my miles. However, after passing the Czech Embassy for the Nth time, instead of turning left as usual, I turned right. That right led me down a dead-end to a parking lot. The back side of Safdarjung Station was opening up before me. The only light shining in the early morning darkness was coming from a guard shack that stood before the open gate. I decided to play the "I belong here" angle and I ran right through. It worked! Or maybe, it wasn't my confidence that let me in, maybe the guard didn't care. Or was sleeping. Or wasn't there. As I said, it was dark.

Sure enough, as soon as I passed the gate, I saw the bridge. I ran up the staircase and crossed over three sets of tracks, looking at the train below me. People were milling about, getting on the train. I dodged several men carrying their baggage up the stairs as I headed down the far side of the bridge. It didn't take me long to figure out that the staircase was not landing outside of the station, but right on the platform!

Again, I decided the "I belong here" strategy was best as I continued running past the passengers, conductors and at least three policemen on the platform. Maybe it was my cool confidence, or the pure surprise of seeing a jogger on the platform, but nobody said or did anything. I ran past the exit, quickly hung a u-turn and ran out of the station through the metal detector.

Back on the street, it was more familiar roads and about 1.5 miles until I was home.

Now my mind is reeling, thinking about how funny it must have been for a jogger to suddenly appear, running across the platform. I'm also thinking about how soon before I try again, and just how many people to bring with me the next time. How about a group of 10 of us?

Run Stats:
Distance- 3.13 milesTime- 24:53Soundtrack- De La Soul-Three Feet High and Rising (Bonus CD downloaded on Valentine's Day along with their whole catalog. For free. From their website.)

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