Two weeks ago I had a pretty terrible Sunday.
On Saturday, what should have been a pretty easy 5 mile run turned into a hot, sweaty mess of a run. I was so sweaty that Mr. Shoe had though I had dumped water all over myself. So I was determined to start Sunday’s run nice and early to avoid the heat. I should also mention that this terrifying/awful news story was fresh on my mind [a Michigan man was killed by dogs while he was running].
Sunday morning I hauled myself out of bed at dawn and got ready for my run. My plan was pretty simple: drop Mr. Shoe off 6 miles from our ending point, drop some water bottles off on the route, park the car and run a 12 mile out-and-back. When I was dropping off the water, a car going the opposite direction pulled off onto the shoulder as well. I assumed he thought I might be having car trouble. But I hopped back in the car and drove off before he was out of their car.
Then in my rear-view mirror, I watched him do a u-turn and start following me. I had a twinge of panic, but thought maybe he had pulled over to check a map and realized he was lost. Or something. I tried not to worry about it as I continued to the starting location of my route. He followed me all the way through town.
The starting location for my run was a relatives house. So I pulled in the driveway and the other car continued down the road. I told myself this was probably just a weird coincidence, but I spent a lot of time stretching before heading back to the road for my run. Just in case.
I walked down to the end of the driveway to start my run and while I was doing a final stretch I watched THAT SAME CAR pull out of a driveway a few houses down and start heading towards me. I immediately went back to my car and locked the doors. That was too much to be considered a coincidence. I was so freaked out. I didn’t know what to do; everyone inside was still sleeping. I ended up talking on the phone with my sister until I was calmed down.
So yeah. That was the end of my plan to run early in the morning. I was hoping to run later at night after the temps started to drop and on a different route. Those plans fell through and I ended up running right in the heat of the day.
The first 7 miles or so actually weren’t too bad. I was doing a run 10, walk 1 minute plan so I could drink lots of water during the run. The last 5 miles were awful. I was hot, tired, and emotional. I was angry that I didn’t get to run in the morning, I was angry at Mr. Shoe for leaving for a 5 hour motorcycle ride, I was angry at how hard this run felt. The last few miles were a lovely mix of angry crying and very slow running.
Then, a mere, 2 tenths of a mile from where Mr. Shoe was planning to pick me up, two very large, barking dogs shot across their yard toward me. I basically froze in panic. About the time I stopped running, they stopped running. From what I could tell, they were just loose in the yard (no fence). I was afraid to keep running, because I didn’t want them to start chasing me. Finally I started calling for help as loud as I could. I just didn’t know what to do. A neighbor came to my rescue and tried to explain (over all the barking) that they had an invisible fence and were nice dogs.
I’m sure they were nice dogs, but between the heat, the car following me, and my complete exhaustion I just couldn’t handle the fear of being killed by dogs too. I tried to explain this to the neighbor, but I suspect she thought I was all sorts of crazy. I am so grateful that I had told Mr. Shoe when to expect me, because he drove up about a minute later. I was 15 minutes late getting to our meeting spot so he had come to look for me.
And that is the story of my worst long run ever.