On Tuesday night I set out for a long run. It was a hot day so I planned a new route using gmap-pedometer.com that ran north-south to maximize the amount of shade I’d find. Also, my official fan club was out of town so I needed a shorter leg so that I could easily return home for water.
I set out on my new route at about 6:10pm. It was 87 at that time. My plan for running north-south for shade worked out well. Almost the entire route was shaded. Only about a quarter of a mile or so was not shaded. I made sure that I kept my pace down since I was worried about staying hydrated (and my legs!) for the distance I was hoping to run.
According to google maps I expected to find a day care center on my right. That was my planned turning point. I couldn’t find the center so I continued on past where I thought it should be and turned around when the shade ended. At that point I couldn’t be sure what my mileage was going to be. I knew that it was longer than what I had planned but I didn’t know by how much.
I returned home where Mary had left water in the mailbox for me. I drank most of the water and poured some over my head being careful not to get water in my sneakers. I had planned on taking another new route after this first break but I changed my mind. I figured that it’d be better to retrace my steps because I knew that it was shaded. I was still worried about being dhydrated and having serious problems while I was out.
The run got pretty difficult after the water stop. It turns out that the water stop was just a little past 7 miles into my run. I seriously considering truncating my run by 3 or 4 miles because I felt a little bit light headed and my legs were tired already. I didn’t shorten the run though. I made it all the way out and back again.
My total distance was about 14.25 miles. I ran it at a pace that was just over 10 minutes per mile. It certainly wasn’t the best run I’ve had as far as fun, time, or distance but I’m still glad I did it. The next time I go for a long run I’ll have water with me since Mary bought a “hydration belt” for me. I can carry 32 ounces of water, gel packs, and a cell phone with me. Now I won’t have to plan my routes as close to home!
The new route wasn’t bad. The only problem is that a lot of it is next to a swampy area with a tiny shoulder. Numerous times the movement of wildlife startled me causing me to jump a little bit. The problem is that my natural reaction is to jump away from the sound…and thus into traffic. Near the end of the first leg of the route I encountered a closed road. They had torn out the pavement at a railroad crossing. I was careful not to twist my ankles and to watch for oncoming trains but I did jog through the crossing. This route differs a lot from the Rowe Half in that I saw living animals. I’m sure I’ll run it again because it is so well shaded.