Get Lost

Coach Randy wants you to fool yourself today on your long run.

You know how you always start your watch on the corner by your building? Today, wait until you’re underneath the highway, at Macri Park, then turn it on, so the distance calculations of the little creature who lives inside the watch are all going to be a little different to what you’re used to.

Past the firehouse, on to the claptrap bridge where Grand Street becomes Grand Avenue, definitely take the left walkway; you never use that side.

Coming up on mile 3, when you’re rolling down 48th in Queens, hooking around the sewage overflow spot on Maspeth Creek to 49th, I want you on the right-hand side of the road the whole way, so the camber of the pavement is to the right. There’s no traffic here at this hour and this little shift past Big Geyser beverage warehouse gives you a totally different perspective.

On 56th, when you’ve gone under the Kosciusko Bridge, go right on Laurel Hill alongside the graveyard. Yes, the road dead ends at top of the hill, and you are forced onto that scary fenced-in pedestrian walkway over the highway. Yes, there is piles of broken glass, syringes, shattered computers and TVs, and an ominous hole in one wall of the foundation where people are probably living. But once you’re past all this apocalypse-now craziness, you’ll be somewhere unexpected, and kind of lost.

But you’ll sort of know how to get home from there.

A few miles later, once you are approaching the Queensboro Bridge, I want you to scamper up the ramp and U-turn back down, then head all the way home on our usual route. But don’t stop at your usual spot. Carry on to the exact spot where you started before you hit stop.

And remember that brand-new looking clipboard abandoned in that building’s trash right there? Grab that for your kid, will you? You know he’s going to love having it to use when he sets up his little office to scribble in his notebooks.

As for the donkeys you lost three days ago, do not worry about them; they have been found. –1 Samuel 9:20

Coach Randolph Müller was a longtime track and cross-country coach at a private secondary school in New York City, where he also taught several languages and European history. He was born in the Black Forest region of southwestern Germany and received his doctorate at Universität Stuttgart before moving to the States. Never an athlete himself, he gained an avid following in the tri-state prep running community for his homespun, commonsense coaching methods. Since retiring, Coach Müller has dedicated himself to community service, including offering free coaching advice to visitors. Contact us with your questions for him.