Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Salvaged Workout in Detroit

Oh Detroit. I have seen you twice this summer already, and you think I would have learned by now. Up north, there are two seasons: Road construction/maintenance season, and snow season. I happened to be visiting during the former for a five day software training course last week. 

You think I would have learned by the end of the second visit that I need to give myself extra time to get anywhere in the greater Detroit area. But I seemed to have forgotten as I planned out how to spend the 4 hours between the end of the class and when I needed to return the rental car to the airport.

The previous day had been a rest day, so I wanted to get a good workout in before getting on the plane home. With temperatures in the upper 70s, it was the ideal weather to exercise outdoors.

I scoured Google Maps for a safe outdoors area to run at. I wanted it to be at least sort-of on the way from the training center to the airport. I picked Maybury State Park in Livonia, which promised hiking trails. I figured I could travel the 20 miles there in 40 minutes, hike for 90 minutes or so, and even have time to visit a bookstore on the way back to the airport.
Maybury State Park...(source)

Unfortunately, things did not go as planned and it took me more than two hours to get to the region of the park. This included a 20 minutes grocery-store stop for a mid-afternoon meal consisting of blueberries, cherry tomatoes, and a mini-Subway egg white sandwich. By the time I got to the area where the park was located, it was 5:15 and I had to be AT the rental car agency by the airport by 6:30. And despite my adherence to my Android's navigational promptings, I still couldn't find the entrance to the park. Reluctantly, I did a U-turn and head toward the airport.

I was upset that I wasn't able to go on my planned hike. The weather was just beautiful and I really wanted to spend some time outside. Since I had just come off of a rest day, I especially felt like I owed it to myself to get some exercise.

On the way back to the airport, I spied a small park with some paths. Psssh, I thought to myself. I would have a half hour at most. Not nearly the 1.5-2 hours I had hoped to hike at the park. It's not worth it.

But I knew that wasn't true. Even a quick workout would boost my endorphins, contribute to my fitness, and just, well, be good for me. So I parked the car and enjoyed a 30 minute run/walk. And I'm happy to report, it was a pretty decent salvaged workout, despite it not being what I initially intended it to be.

Note to future (and hopefully wiser) self: When visiting Detroit and its surrounding suburbs during the summer (aka the only season where it is almost certain to NOT snow), give myself at least twice, and perhaps thrice the amount of time you would think it would normally take to get to point A to point B. Also (perhaps more importantly): Adapt for the things that are worth it.

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