While the calendar still says it is Summer, Football Weather had definitely arrived. The sky was dark, storm clouds were gathering, the wind was swaying the trees, and I had a very bad feeling about this!
Today was supposed to be the fiftieth run of my 10 week old running program, and I really didn’t want to have to reschedule such a milestone because of a little rain.
Then again, the skies looked so ominous that it was apparent that more than a little rain would be in today’s forecast.
I was already dressed in my Running Toga and had laced up my running shoes, so I decided to hit the road.
My feeling was that I could turn back at any point that the weather became too ugly, and any run was better than no run at all.
Since the skies were only getting darker, I also made the executive decision to pick up the pace. No one else was crazy enough to be out on the road, so there would be no fellow runners to save me should I get swept up in a flash flood or carried away by mighty winds.
I really didn’t want to head back to The House on the Hill after only a 1 or 2 mile run, but by the time I reached the halfway point of a 3 miler, I was giving it serious consideration.
However, the rain still hadn’t started yet, and even though I was running into the wind, I was still moving much faster than usual. So I kept going.
At the turnaround for my 4 mile run, I felt some light drizzle, but my legs were strong and my lungs weren’t burning, so I pushed myself to go the full 4.25 miles as originally planned.
As I’ve mentioned before, the 4.25 miler had been kicking my butt. I had a suspicion it was actually more like 4.5 miles, and it was taking me an average of 50:00 to complete.
I was not at all happy with that time, and had only last weekend finally broken 48:00. I was pleased with my 4 mile time, hence my adding the additional distance, but there was something about that extra portion of a mile that was dragging my time into the unacceptable range.
Today, I covered that additional section much faster than usual. There was just something about being caught in a storm, two miles from home, that did not sit well with me. I knew I wasn’t going to melt, but it looked like a storm that might bring lightning and the kind of winds that blew runners over the border into Canada.
So I charged home, determined to survive to run another day. I wanted number fifty to be memorable for all the right reasons, and not because I was detained by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for entering their nation without a passport.
The rain never got harder than a drizzle, but the sky grew so dark that I thought it was night. Those clouds were doing the pee pee dance, and did not look like they could hold it much longer!
I kicked it into what I thought was fifth gear, but was apparently hyperspace.
When I made it to the driveway of The House on the Hill and looked at my stopwatch, it read 45:20! Can you believe it, Modern Philosophers?
Yesterday was the first time I’d manage to break 47:00 when I finished my run at 46:53. In the back of my mind, I had been shooting to beat 47:00 again, but had absolutely no idea I could knock more than a minute and a half off my time.
I was stunned, excited, confused, sweaty, and in desperate need of some water. Ironically, after pushing myself to get home before the rain, the first thing I did was dump half a bottle of cold water over my head to cool off.
It also makes me quite photogenic, don’t you agree? I’m always smiling after a run, and I don’t know if that’s out of sheer relief at still being alive, or because I’m so delirious from the loss of sweat that I actually think there’s a girlfriend waiting on the porch for me with a kiss and a Snapple.
Maybe if I went out running before a storm more often, I’d qualify for the Olympics…