Last Monday I looked on my map (www.mapmyrun.com) and plotted out what looked like would be a nice run taking me to areas of the city I have not visited before, hoping to run about 10 miles. It was a beautiful, clear sunny day and I thought I would increase my distance a little bit.
Maps don't tell you all you need to know.
Turns out that a lot of the course I planned to run did not have any sidewalks at all. Worse, they didn't even have shoulders on the roads! I came through this one section which was nothing but broken up pavement, gravel and glass for about 1/2 a mile on the very edge of very fast moving cars. I hoped it would just last a short distance and then I would get back to nice sidewalks. Not so. The road split -- one that wound its way up through some very dark, shady trees and had even less of a shoulder -- no room for me plus cars that were speeding up or down this windy, narrow road in the shade.
So I opted for the other route, which also had no shoulders, but was straight and out in the open. I realized that almost all the traffic was coming from one direction only, so I crossed over and ran on the less busy side without very much interference from traffic. But the road was very poor condition and rough. I found a softer tar repair strip that I could run on for about 1/2 mile which was very nice, but then it was grimace and pain time.
By the time I had gone about 7 miles into my run, my feet were very sore and complaining a lot. I finally found my way down to some businesses with long parking lots that were smoother than the roads. After that I got onto some familiar sidewalks and was able to limp my way the last 1 1/2 miles. Once I got back on smoother surfaces I got back into a better running pattern and it wasn't so bad.
Even though my skin was worn fairly smooth from that run, it still felt very nice to have done it. I won't do it again, though.
I had to cut it short because I could not get to the areas where I originally intended on going.
Total distance: 8.5 miles