Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Delicate Sound of Thunder

We now return to our regular program of dance music ...

Surfers [even those on hiatus] are, by their nature, Weather Geeks. As are runners, or they should be. Triathletes are just geeks in general, in all things. I'm training my daughter to recognize the smell of pending rain, sleet, snow. She's got the sharky gene.

I saw the train of thunderstorms rumbling toward New Jersey on the Weather Channel radar; light and dark green boxcars indicating medium and heavy rain, anchored by an orange locomotive and a red caboose of strong and severe precipitation.

"What are you thinking?" D'Wife asked as she shuffled into the kitchen and noticed I had changed into my running gear. Although it was past lunchtime she still had a 'when's breakfast?' look to her, "You're not going out now, are you?"

I had stayed up late last night after the school dance I chaperoned [I think that sometime around 11PM my brain said, 'It's Friday, we were in the Parish Hall, must be Midnight Bingo, we can't go to sleep yet' and kept me up past 3AM] and I slept in long past 8AM. I took some time to get myself reanimated, rehydrated and recalibrated. Cool early, yet muggy and warming, I could tell it wouldn't take long for me to sweat out the accumulated toxins of the week [physical, emotional and spiritual]. I needed to get out before the first drops fell or I wouldn't leave house at all for the rest of the day.

"It's too humid for you to ride outside today," I defended - rightly so with her asthma.

"If I put my miles in now, you can go to the gym, ride and/or swim and be back before dinner."

She considered it as I, already stretched, warmed up and iPodded, jetted out the door.

The plan? No plan. Run until it started raining, or 2½ miles, whichever came first and turn around. As soon as I left the development, I knew two things:

1) 5 miles just wouldn't do it today. Is there a Rule that says Sunday is the Long day?
b) I didn't care when it started raining. I'd turn around when it felt bad.

Mile one: a shade over 8:15. No rain.
Mile two-ish: 8 twenty-ish. Spitting.
Mile three: 25:25 ... I love when that happens! Not quite drizzle.

27 minutes: We went from drizzle to sprinkle; this is rain = time to head home. Which is half an hour away. This may have been thought out better.

30 minutes: I'm only wet in the front. That's not so bad

33 minutes: Sprinkle > shower. Hey, at least I have a hat on! And I'm under LOT's of tree so I won't be hit by lightning

36 minutes: We're in full downpour now. Yeah, it's flash-flooding. Swamp monsters are stirring from the stormdrains. I'm finding the parallel between "I couldn't care less" and "I couldn't get any wetter" very comforting, in a metaphorical sort of way.

42 minutes: Have you ever been in a storm where it rains so hard, that there's rain between the rain; that it's raining so hard it looks like snow; full white-out conditions?

48 minutes: Climbing the short hill beside the cemetery, I see that a small river has formed itself along the curb. Yeah, you know. I'm splashing in it and "Singing in the Rain"

The last mile: An exercise where, through careful and strategic exploitation of puddles, wet trees and water collected on parked cars, I ensure that I am 100% soaked. And gleefully so.

My workout done, I kicked my wet shoes off and did my cool down loop of our block. My shirt clung to me in ways I wished it hadn't, accentuating those love handles I wish I could burn off, but clinging to my still swimmerish chest and shoulders. I swiped my baseball hat off my head, and rain-spiked my hair up.

"Such a punk" I said to myself, checking my reflection in a car window.

I rinsed the sweat and rain off of my specs in a neighbor's sprinkler [must have been on a timer] and crossed the street to go home.

My little black socks squished as I waddled from the foyer to the kitchen.

"You're soaked!!!" I was advised, in case I hadn't noticed. With the air conditioning on, the room was freezing; two thoughts immediately came to mind: chowder of some sort and a nice, strong dark beer.

"You are an idiot," she evaluated

"Dork" she added, for emphasis.

"Hey, honey. I never said I was the brightest bulb in the lighthouse."


Anonymous said...

I always find it easier if it starts to rain while I'm out running, the idea of actually going out the door into the rain just doesn't appeal. Sounds like a really nice run you had, and you write with a lovely turn of phrase.

Kris said...

Great story!

I like splashing in the rain too. I figure I won't melt. :-)

sauconRunner said...

I love those kind of runs, especially in the heat of the summer!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love that you did your cool down with spiked hair!! What a way to end a fun run!

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx said...

Running in the elements rocks and it is HARDCORE!

Welcome to the club :D

Tasha the Triathlon Goddess said...

Sounds like perfect running weather to me... :-)