Monday, April 27, 2009

Directionally Challenged

I have no sense of direction. If you ask me what way north is, I would tell you I have no idea. Since I cannot tell north from south or east or west, traveling is sometimes a bit difficult for me. When I moved to Ohio, I learned to navigate the city fairly easily. I know the major interstates I take, and everything is pretty much located off of them. I have been lost my fair share of times, but nothing too bad.

This weekend, in preparation for the Flying Pig, I decided it would be beneficial to take a drive down to Cincinnati to check out the route. I wanted to see how big the hills were from miles 5 to 8, through the Eden Park district. Knowing that the Reds were in town and the race starts by their stadium, I wanted to make sure I left early enough to miss the baseball traffic. When I got in my car to start my drive, I thought I was in good shape. I had the directions, the half marathon course, and felt ready to go.

Then, I started driving. I have only been to Cincinnati two other times, although both have been to the suburbs, and not the city. As I continued my drive along I-75 through Cincy, I thought in my head I should be getting off soon. I stayed on, and eventually my exit came up. I got off, only to find tons of people and policemen everywhere. When I am situations like this, I get super nervous. The street I was supposed to turn on was blocked by the numerous moms and their strollers (I think there must have been some type of walk, but I am not sure). I began to panic in my head, fearing I would get lost in Cincy (ah!). Plus, there are a lot of one-way streets, which also confuse me.

At that moment, I saw a sign for I-71. I decided to get on I-71, knowing that it would connect me back to I-75 due to a previous shopping excursion to Kenwood. As I got on I-71, I saw an exit for Eden Park. Since the interstate was not very crowded, I looked out my window only to see what resembled a mountain! I knew that if I got off at the exit, I might not be able to find my way back on, considered how I was already flustered. I continued driving, thinking about how huge that hill was. I hope that they do not make us run up the entire thing. That would just be cruel. In the end, I made it back safe and sound.

Luckily, I live with two people from the Cincinnati area. I am sure they will be able to give me some insight into the route. I looked at the half marathon elevation chart on Flying Pig page and it appears as though miles 1 through 5 are flat, 5 through 8 are uphill, 9 to 11 flat, and 11 to 13.1 downhill. Hopefully the 5 - 8 mile incline is not the mountain that I drove past in a panic!

I learned a couple of things from this experience: first, I should have gotten my GPS now instead of waiting until the summer to purchase one; and secondly, it is good to be able to laugh at myself. I know I am directionally challenged, and I am just fine with it.

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