I debated whether I should put this story out there for the world to read. But I try to be 100% real on my blog, and maybe this will help someone else who is new to running know that this happens to everyone (and, let’s be honest, I really have no shame).
Here’s the scene:
I have a long run of 12 miles on the schedule for Saturday.
The humidity is out of control and temps are expected to reach 95.
The plan is to be out of the house by 6:00 so that I’m done before the heat kicks in. I really need to start to plan to leave 15 minutes earlier because I never start on time. Anyways, I was out the door at 6:15. Plenty of time to beat the heat (you see where this is going, right?).
I decided to run 6 miles, refill my water bottle, and run another 6 miles. It helps me to break up the run into pieces. A little mind game, I guess.
The first 3 miles are great. The humidity is intense, but nothing I can’t handle. But then the sun comes out. And the sweat is just pouring down from my elbow to my hand to my pinky and draining. It’s gross. But, again, nothing I can’t handle.
I get to mile 4 and my stomach starts to get a little wonky. Nothing too crazy, I can handle this. I get to mile 4.5. And the thought crosses my mind “Am I going to make it home in time?”. I’m pretty sure you know what I mean.
And as soon as I hit mile 5 I HAVE to stop and walk. I start to panic. I can’t handle this.
Nothing is open. Rite Aid is closed. The local bar is closed. No gas station in sight. I didn’t even have my phone to call J to come pick me up. And I’m on Detroit. If you’re from Cleveland, you know this is a main road, not some little side street.
This is what goes through my mind:
Just walk. Walk through it. Maybe you’ll get lucky and it’ll pass.
Ummmmm, Heather, this is not going to pass. Find a facility. NOW.
NOTHING IS OPEN!!
Will that guy let me use his phone?
THERE’S NO TIME!
There’s an old car dealership parking lot – there has to be an alley behind the brick building. Go there.
There’s a fence with a car parked in front of it. You’re gonna have to do it.
No choice anymore. Get behind the car, in between the fence and the car, and go.
And I’m sure you get the picture as to what happened next. In broad daylight. On Detroit Ave.
Luckily it was only 7am, so the street was pretty empty. I’m just glad no one came out of the house on the other side of that fence. That would not have been a pretty sight to wake up to.
And then I ran the 1 mile home and called it a day.
I figured the other 6 miles could wait until another time.
In the neighbor’s sprinkler cooling off after a traumatic early morning….
Good thing I can laugh at myself.