Sunday dawned cold, windy and cloudy. I wasn’t thrilled to run in the cold, but since I had skipped Saturday’s run, blaming the ice, I felt compelled to run at least a few miles. Besides, I had a run all mapped out and waiting in RunGo
This was a run born in a warm house. A run mapped with forethought and precision. A route maximizing the number of new streets run while minimizing the distance. I had carefully looked at my tracking map and plotted a route on RunGo to take in all of the little missing streets in Arlington. Now parking on Fernleaf Street, I got out of my warm car ready to run! Damn, now I had to wait in the freezing wind to get my GPS signal. Once the Garmin locked in, I started down Fernleaf, dutifully taking the left on Elsie St. Water seeping across the road had frozen in place, making shiny stripes of slipperyness. As I slowed to take a picture, I heard a beep. Argh, I had never actually started the Garmin.
Now concentrating on getting this route done, I listened intently for further directions from RunGo.
“In 10 yards, make a right”
“In 35 feet, turn around”
Done! (Ugh, now I had to go UPHILL)
“Make a left”
“Make a right”
Whoa! No street there. Maybe a driveway. Keep going!
“You are off course. You are off course”
“#%@#%2!*!@%$%*”my conversation with RunGo
And so it began. The good intentions and planning went by the wayside. I looped around a bit and then decided to finish Zaruba Street, leaving the rest of the route for another day. When I had been in this area a few days ago, I remember seeing the Zaruba Street sign quite distinctly. Today, however, I ran right by it. I turned off on Devlin Street, which dead-ends into a playground. My picture of the cemetery must have done it, because dead-ends were mainly what I saw for the rest of the run.
On the Strava map, it looks like there is a long flight of stairs at the end of Castle Street. Actually, Castle Street was blocked off with Jersey barriers and had a condemned house standing on its corner. All I found at the end was dirt, bull-dozed into trees. I did find that Syrian Street becomes a stair case going down to Arlington Avenue. Azul Street looked promising, but halfway up the hill, it too, was blocked off.
Making my way back to the car, I stayed on Spring Street until it hit Arlington, where I took the Marengo Street Stairs towards the purple-topped Congregation of Yahshua. A right, a left and viola, I was back at the car. This did not go as planned, but it wasn’t a bad run. I could have actually gotten back on route with RunGo if I had had more time. In Pittsburgh, at least, the difference between online maps and reality is often striking.