The best laid plans

Today was supposed to be a 17 mile run. I planned it all out so that it was start and end at a little country farm store that served lunch and sold (among other things) strawberry rhubarb pie. It was a marvelous plan. A long run followed by pie. Joy. But it was not to be.

I planned the run out using (who wants $2 to let you print out the map, yeah right). The best I could get was 17.5 but I thought that would be reasonable.

I met my running partner at about 9 am at the store, and it was already 72F (22C). My partner is sensitive to heat so we had to be extra careful. I knew of two Stewart’s Shops on the route and we had fuel belts with water and gatorade, so I was sure we had enough.

As it turned out, the run was excruciatingly hot. Thank goodness for the Stewart’s at mile 12 because we would have died without the water/gatorade fill up. We drank our fill and poured water on our shirts and headed back out for the last 5 miles.

The last 5 miles actually ended up being 8 miles. Apparently, I had started the map in the wrong spot and we had a 20 mile route, not 17.5. So, when 17.5 had come and gone and there was no store in site, I began cursing the mapping program. Eventually, when we came to a crossroads, I realized what had happened.

Running in the heat was tough, but walking it was even harder. My feet were incredibly sore and, because we were out there so much longer, we ran quite low on the water. My partner had been using the water to cool down a little.

I felt horrendously guilty for screwing this up, mostly because I’m supposed to be pacing this person who has never run these distances before. Her longest run before this was 15 miles. We walked the last 3 miles, but it was awful.

We finally made it to the store and had lunch. I could hardly eat. My appetite was gone. I bought a whole pie because they didn’t sell it by the slice. I haven’t had any yet.

I also got a terrible sunburn, although my partner was smart enough to use sunscreen. I can’t read a map, why would you expect me to know enough to use sunscreen? I’ve put aloe vera on it and I’m hoping for the best.

Next week we have 18 miles on the schedule. I haven’t a clue how far we should run.


  1. Oops. Missed this one – disregard my last comment!

    Great job on your 20-miler in that heat.

  2. i think i’d be pretty mad if i ended up in that situation. 17 is long enough thanks, especially in the heat! getting ‘lost’/miscalculating the distance on a hot, long run is no fun. i hope your friend doesn’t hire a hitman.

    i think you can find ghetto ways to print the map if you really wanted to…. screen shots and stuff?

  3. Glad you guys made it! That is a great lesson for your partner to learn – things don’t always turn out how you plan. Next week you shouild probably go back to your 18 mile run. Should be a cinch! Good luck

  4. Wow, that is hard — to miss your mark and not know how much further you have to go. And the heat/hydration issue too… In my most recent run, I thought I had enough fluid, and then about half way through realized I needed to change plans. I always try to have a backup hydration plan…

  5. Seventeen is 20, so 18 is 23? I’m using reverse log periodigram integrated by the vector of the wrong turn.

  6. Oh I’m SO sorry. It must have REALLY been bad for you not to have had any strawberry rhubarb pie. I’ve gotten lost and run alot farther than I intended to and it is not fun. I’m sure your 18 will be smooth sailing.

  7. bummer, but glad you both finished without too much dehydration. when the burn cools off you’ll have a nice tan.
    the strawberry rhubarb pie sounds wonderful.

  8. What a huge bummer. I was supposed to run 16 and could only finish 11 deu to the heat. It sucked. I don’t know what to run next week either…

  9. I go with Jank’s analysis.