Running: (v) To move swiftly on foot so that both feet leave the ground during each stride.

Geocaching: (n) A type of scavenger hunt for containers bearing treasure using the containers' exact geographic coordinates and Global Positioning System (GPS) devices

GeoRunning: (n) My little made up word that means running to and from a hidden geocache. An activity I used to motivate me and in the process have a lot of fun. Another similar word: geocycling. Although, I have yet to try it.

Nearly a year ago, I read an article in Runner's World about 56 ways to motivate your run. One tip that stuck out in my mind was picking up pennies. Someone suggested pre-scattering coins along your running route and then running back along the route to collect them all. That's a lot of work for a penny. I've got a better idea. Run to a geocache. That's what I did yesterday for my weekly long run. Initially, I wasn't all that motivated to do a long run. In fact, I was a bit scared to do one because I hadn't run all week. Work and other crud got in the way so up until Saturday I had logged zero miles. The thought of running 8 miles with no base miles during the week made me fear the bonk monster. So I decided to play a common mind trick. Only run 4 miles. That is... run to a point 4 miles away from my house. Of course, I would need to run the 4 miles back totaling 8, but telling myself I was only going to run 4 miles was much more appealing on this particular morning.

The chosen 4 mile destination was a geocache called Son of the Evil Nano Spawner. It is a micro-cache. Which means it is super tiny and difficult to find. I suppose. I'm new to this game and I've never tried finding a micro-cache. I don't even know what it looks like. In geocaching you never know what you are looking for until you find it. I needed to try finding the micro on my own because my usual geocaching partners like to find the bigger containers that are full of toys.

Off I went. I strapped my Garmin Foretrex GPS to my wrist and watched for the waypoint to appear on the little screen. The cache was hidden next to a long stretch of empty road to nowhere. Perfect for running. The coordinates led me to a lone telephone pole and ditch. When I look for a geocache, I try to be discrete so non-geocachers (muggles) don't suspect that I am up to trouble or worse suspect the cache is some sort of danger. Our local TV news did a report earlier this year on a supposed bomb-threat near the interstate. It turned out to be a ammo-can geocache. Harmless. Regardless, tromping around, ducking and searching under things looks a little goofy to the passer-by. If I feel I am being watched, I cut the hunt short and come back another day. I didn't have to worry much on this road though. It was so empty. This day, it didn't matter. I might as well had all day to look for it. I couldn't find the darn thing. I looked and looked. I circled the pole for 10 minutes. Nothing. No wonder it was named EVIL. Finally a cyclist appeared down the road. It was my chance to save my ego and stop looking. Of course, I didn't want him to suspect me of any wrong doing. I just had to leave. I turned to walk and then ran off. He peddled one way and I ran the other. I finished my run and hurried to a computer to check for some extra hints to help me find the cache the next time I'm near it. I found out that some guy's six year old son found it. With ease. I need to try again. I've got another long run next weekend. I think I will swing by. I can't wait.


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