Friday, March 25, 2011

Day 39 - Only 49 Days Left Until the London Marathon


By just looking at this route on the map, you would think it would have been pretty straight forward. Keep in mind also, that I had just run a horrible route in Holdenville the night I was really hoping for a nice smooth run.

The goal for tonight was 13.5 miles. Good long distance but not completely exhausting. I was a little sore from the two rolled (left and right) ankles from the night before so I had a long Epsom salt soak before heading out. Elise was a little bummed that I was spending two evenings in a row on longer runs so she headed out to go eat dinner. In the interest of running somewhere new, I mapped out a loop that I thought would be a well populated area.

I started out of the neighborhood and headed North. I had run the first section before so no big surprises yet. I then turned down a pitch black road (this should have been my first sign). This is also where the nice wide sidewalk I was running on disappeared. At first I thought, well probably a dead road, not much traffic. I was wrong. I couldn't see the ditch and there wasn't enough room on the shoulder to run and safely avoid the oncoming traffic. So I switched lanes depending on which direction the traffic was coming. Inevitably, traffic came from both directions and I was forced into the ditch. This went on for almost 2 miles before I finally a street light. I'm not exaggerating, there wasn't a single source of light until then. It was a turn in for semis into some type of oil lease. I continued dodging vehicles and lucking out when I was forced into the ditch that I didn't trip, step into a puddle of water, etc.

Another 2 miles later, I came across a neighborhood and across Bell Helicopter's manufacturing plant. So a little more light and more importantly it allowed cars to see me. Most at this point were swinging wide around me as they passed. My nerves were finally a little more at ease but still asking myself why in the hell am I out here running.

It was only a half mile later or so that it went dark again. Again, really not much shoulder to work with but enough that I could get a foot or two off the road if needed. Cars were seemingly still able to see me but not until a lot closer to me. Finally had a car that didn't see me and at the last second, I went to step off the road into the ditch and nothing was there. The road had washed out that spot creating a three foot hole. I slammed hard into the sharp edge of the washed out road with my right shin and elbow soon after. I came to an immediate halt stuck in an awkward position in this hole on back road in Arlington. Great.

I hopped up quickly, initially thinking "well at least I avoided the car" and secondly "damn it, this is really going to kill my pace"....what is wrong with me? I could barely support my weight on my right leg at first and was just doing well to manage some sort of limping jog. I was determined to get my miles in so I carried on. About a quarter mile later, I was finally at a decent pace again and managed to get back to a proper gait. Still, it was painful to run. I came up on the first civilization I had seen in almost 5 miles, I seriously contemplated quitting and having Elise come get me. I kept running.

It wasn't long after, that I was back on the pitch black roads dodging traffic and more now than before I was determined to avoid the ditch. There was a little less traffic on this road so it didn't require avoiding all that many cars.

Headed up a hill I saw a couple of silhouettes in the distance under a street light. Dogs. Lucky for me, they hadn't noticed me yet. I turned around quickly and decided this week of running was just about over. I made it back to the Chevron and went inside to call Elise. I tried explaining where I was at but didn't really know. My directions were something like "head West out of the neighborhood onto Oak something street, drive North a little ways and turn on to Green's a dark road and will weave for awhile before you see a Bell Helicopter plant, stay on that road for awhile and the first sign of civilization will be a Chevron, I'm there, come get me please..." She didn't seem too impressed with me on the phone.

A little while later, she came to my rescue. She seemed even less impressed in person. I got in the car and got an ear full about the where I had been running and made to swear that I would never again run somewhere I hadn't already driven in the car to check out.

Honestly, I didn't completely disagree. I was lucky something serious didn't happen. I won't be running in ultra dark places like that anymore and have purchased some reflective bands to wear on late night or early morning runs.

Stats: 11.55 miles - 1:39 time - 8:36 pace



  1. Sorry that week of running sucked so bad! But u have managed to provide some comic relief to my reading now that I know u r ok and the training is almost over :)

  2. I'm glad it has led to some humor. Each day and step is getting me closer.