Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Running Question Challenge - Have you ever been lost on a run?


Have you ever been lost on a run?

Today’s question was inspired by Giorgio at Giorgio's Runners Blog from Rome.  He reminded me of a run when I got lost in Rome and later that week lost in Florence.  Running in Europe is always a favorite part of a vacation and getting lost makes for an interesting story. Naturally a challenge with being lost is not knowing where you’re at but more importantly the lack or challenge of being able to communicate with others.

I went to Italy with some girlfriends and would run in the mornings.  In Rome I figured I’d have an out/back run and I was staying near the coliseum and ASSUMED that I would easily be able to find my way back to the huge, historic, well known structure.  Also, with an out/back course…how can you go wrong?

I did have my Garmin with me but didn’t think of using the feature to mark the location when I walked out my hotel door.  I also had a map with me tucked into a pocket.  I ran down a main road and headed to where I knew the river was and ran along the river. At some point, I figured I had run far enough and turned around.  It was raining and I was worried about my map getting wet but when I went to pull out the map, it wasn’t there.  I guess it didn’t really make it into a true pocket and I had lost it.  What I didn’t know at that time was I had run too far along the river and past the coliseum.  When I got back up to the main road, nothing looked familiar and there were no signs saying coliseum this way with gigantic arrows pointing me in the right direction.  I wasn’t really worried though.

Early morning there aren’t too many shops open but I found an open deli and asked if anyone spoke English, simply by stating the single word Inglesi.  Being the typical American in a big city, I thought everyone in the tourist area would speak English.  Not so much.  My question was met with a blank stare but the shop worker understood enough to call out and ask if any of the customers spoke English.  A gray hair, long bearded man stepped forward and rattled off a number of languages that he spoke…Italian, French, Hebrew, Spanish and German and probably a couple other languages.  Having some knowledge of the German language I pounced on that one and tried to ask “auf deutsch” where the coliseum was.  I didn’t know the German word (or the Italian word) for coliseum but eventually I got him to understand and he pointed me in the right direction.  I believe the guy was messing with me though and knew English.  If he knew so many languages, wouldn’t English be one of those?


I'm not running but this was taken later in the day and it was still raining (a lot)

I did find my way back to the coliseum and was on the opposite side of when I started my run.  My 6 mile run turned into 11 miles.  It was a great run and the story of being lost is just one of the great memories I have of Rome.

13 comments:

Staci Dombroski said...

At least it is a gorgeous place to get lost on a run :)

Jamoosh said...

I sort of got lost when I moved to our current neighborhood. We have something like 50+ miles of hike and bike trails and some of them you have no clue where they come out. So early on I would end up in a sub-division and have no clue where to go.

Sarah said...

Nope..I always run at the same places. I have never been to Europe...hope to get there one day!

Ewa said...

I love exploring new neighborhoods and I get lost all the time. Then the fun starts looking at my Garmin pathetic map figuring out which street to turn into to get to my start point.

Sherri said...

That was a great story...at least it was a great place to be lost!

The Green Girl said...

That was a great story. What an exciting place to get lost!

The only place I've ever gotten lost was in my old neighborhood. I went for a run and had no idea how to get home. My parents were busy and didn't hear the phone ringing so I just kept running until someone called me back. LOL. Not as exciting as your story!

Johann said...

Great post and question! This is one where I can only say no, I've never been lost on a run. I'm either boring or have a good sense for direction.

Giorgio said...

You was able to find Coliseum although you met people who didn't speak English :) It's strange that the long bearded man, which knew four languages, didn't speak English. In 2008 I was lost in Berlin while I was running near Ernst Reuter Platz in the early morning. But I found easily the hotel, which was situated in Adenauer Platz, because German people speak well English language. It's nice your photo near the Coliseum. I hope that you enjoyed Italy.

Jamie said...

I haven't gotten lost on a run but I have gotten myself lost plenty of times.

ajh said...

I haven't gotten lost on a regular run but got lost in a race. That was the pits! i was following 2 other runners and we went by a volunteer who didn't bother to tell us we were going the wrong way.

Your story is great.

Carrie said...

I love this story! :o)

John said...

I have been lost so many times I couldn't even count them. Mostly on trail runs and generally when weather is extremly hot or cold.

Evhen said...

I almost got lost in Shanghai, but the hotel was tall enough that I was able to spot it on the horizon. I did get lost in Tokyo, but only for a little bit.

The best was when I got lost in Frankfurt. I left the hotel and found some running trails along a river. I thought I'd do an out an back on them, but then I picked the wrong turnoff to get back onto the road. I could see the road above me, so I dedided I'd follow it from underneath. Then I found myself on railroad tracks, another trail, and finally in a residential part of the city nowhere near my hotel. I had no GPS and no map. Figuring that the commuter rail lines headed back towards the city, I followed one and ended up finding the street my hotel was on. 45 minute run turned into 1 hour 20 minutes.