Trying to Get Lost

This past weekend, I was in Dallas for the first ever podcasting-only conference.

I had a blast at Podcast Movement, and was able to connect with all kinds of podcasters from a variety of different shows. I even met a lady that MIGHT join me on the Diz Runs With podcast in the near future. But I learned a lot about the business side of podcasting, did some amazing networking, and really made some great friends from around the country that I’ll hopefully be able to visit with when I go run a marathon in their state.

I could go on and on about how great the convention was, but I don’t want to come across as too much of a podcasting nerd, though if the shoe fits…

The Joy of Getting Lost

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One of the things that I enjoy most when visiting other places is going for a run in an area that I’m completely unfamiliar with. Typically, unless I feel like I’m in a really sketchy part of town, I’ll just leave wherever it is that I’m staying and go run with the intention of getting lost and being forced to find my way back home.

I try not to get myself too lost, but I love sightseeing on foot. And it really makes the miles fly by when you don’t know exactly how much farther you have to get back to your hotel because you don’t know exactly where it is you’re going.

So on Saturday morning, I rolled out of the hotel at about 6:45 with a fully charged Garmin and hit the streets with no plan other than to run and worry about finding my way back eventually.

Getting Lost in Dallas

In truth, I was never that lost.

I basically headed out in one general direction, eventually turned right, then right again, and then right again. So I knew I’d eventually get back to where the interstates intersected and our hotel was located.

While the logic is sound, I was at least a little lost for a good portion of the run. I started out going in a different way than I thought I was, so I was chasing after the wrong interstate numbers for awhile. Thankfully, I trusted my sense of direction more than I trusted the signs, and I made it back without incident after cutting through a parking garage.

(Side note–the parking garage experience ended up being very fortuitous after a late night/early morning mission to get some microphone cables after a few too many cocktails. If you want more details, just ask!)

While I obviously didn’t see much of Dallas during my hour-ish excursion, here are a few of my observations of the part of town that I was able to experience.

  • Sidewalks are Useless–After my conversation with Nic, I’ve been much more conscious of staying on sidewalks as much as possible and only crossing at intersections. Yeah, until Dallas flipped me the bird! The busiest street I ran on was a 6-laner, with only a small median separating the 3 lanes in each direction. According to some city planner or urban engineer, the most logical thing to do with the sidewalks was to only have one on one side of the road, and force pedestrians to  bounce back and forth between the two sides of the street!. And even more exciting? One side would stop and the other would start right in the middle of the block. It was fricking ridiculous. Thankfully, traffic was light at 7:15 on a Saturday morning and I safely ping-ponged across the road a handful of times.
  • Dallas is a Wanna-Be British Colony?–I mean, honestly, why else would I have come across this?

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  • A Pink, Paper Machete Looking Bull Means Great Steak?–I didn’t understand the connection, but one steakhouse had this huge pink bull on the roof as a way of signifying their mastery of grilling beef. I should have stopped to take a picture, but for some reason I didn’t. I don’t know what they were going for, but they got my attention. Not sure if it was in a good way or not, however.
  • The Drivers Were Very Runner Friendly–Just about every car I came across yielded for me, even when they had the right of way. That’s not something you see very often here, even when the runner has the right of way. In Dallas, I’d wave them to go ahead, but every driver shook his or her head, and made me cross in front of them. They didn’t have to do that, but it was really nice.

And that about wraps up my experience of running in Dallas.

I was planning on running on Sunday morning, but it was raining and there was a lot of lightning, so I tortured myself on the human hamster wheel.

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Damn, I hate running on the dreadmill.

Especially when I had plans of getting lost on the other side of the interstate.

When you go out of town, do you try to see the sights on foot? Do you ever get lost on purpose and run your way back? Let me know your thoughts!


3 replies
  1. Joanna
    Joanna says:

    I lived “in” Dallas when I was a teenager. I went back a couple years ago and Dallas looks the same as it ever did. The suburb I lived in was hardly identifiable as the same place. I didn’t run back then so I don’t know what it’s like.

    I think Florida is a very unfriendly state to be a runner in. And those sidewalks? I have those all over where I run. I’m constantly having to change the side of the road I’m on. Quite annoying.

    Reply
  2. Joanna
    Joanna says:

    Also, the only other state I’ve run in is California. Monterey is like a running haven for me. It’s so achingly beautiful and the weather is nearly always perfect for running. It’s got hills, flats, trails, roads, scenes to die for. Lovely. Big Sur Marathon. Do it!

    Reply
    • Denny
      Denny says:

      We’ve got some great places to run here in Lakeland, but there are plenty of places where there are no sidewalks and running feels a little scary. I just don’t understand the sidewalk that stops in the middle of the block and picks up across the street. Makes no sense.

      I’ve never been in Cali, but I’ll have to get there some day in order to cross the state off the list eventually. I’ve thought about doing Big Sur, but I tend to enjoy the smaller races. But I’ve heard lots of good things about Big Sur, so who knows!

      Reply

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