Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Partly Cloudy can make you Fully Wet

ORN: 5.4 miles, 8/1, 10:54/mile

I’m on the road on a business trip in Bloomington, Indiana. Got a break between the meetings this afternoon and the obligatory business dinner this evening, so I changed and went out for a run, needing a solid 5 miler today.

When I left the hotel, it was warm and muggy with partly cloudy skies. I took my usual route here in Bloomington, following a main street straight east from the hotel. This route took me along the south side of the Indiana University Campus, quite a busy place at the end the day. I proceeded past the restaurant in which
Darrell and I ate the night before last December’s trail Marathon, as well as the Cold Stone Creamery where we celebrated Darrell’s fine run in the mud the next evening. It made me smile to recall that fun time with him.

I kept going east and was almost at the 2.5 mile turn around point when I noticed a few drops of rain. In a matter of seconds, the drops turned into a full blown Midwestern thunderstorm, a real
toad strangler, as we call such a storm here. Since the storm came quickly out of the west, I was fully unaware of its approach. The rain came down in sheets, pounded by a high wind that was taking branches and leaves with it. And I was as far as I could be from the hotel, in an unfamiliar residential part of a town I don’t live in.

So, I got as creative as I could. I found some shelter under a mature tree and wondered just how long the rain would continue. I laughed at myself as I huddled under the tree. I had carefully packed a running cap for the trip, knowing the forecast called for rain. But the cap was nice and dry in my room, as I had deemed it not necessary for the run. After about 10 minutes, it seemed to let up just a bit, so I started back west, hoping to get to a commercial area for some better shelter.

I ran straight into the rain and finally got to the front overhang of the local organic food coop store and escaped the continuing downpour. I must have been quite a sight, a drenched guy in a neon yellow
Brooks NightLife T Shirt. I stood there a while, seriously wondering if I should just call a cab, as the rain continued. So, I walked into the coop, looking for a customer service desk or something where I could make the call. I got more odd looks, saw nothing and no one was helpful, so walked back out.

At which point I decided to just run it back.

So I did. As I started, I remembered another piece of advice from the day Darrell and I had in the woods last December. We overheard a cross-country coach telling his runners before the marathon to just run through water, not around it. “Your feet will get wet but they will not get cold. Go through it.” Good advice. I went through the water, well over ankle deep in some places.

I got back to the hotel, still quite a sight I’m sure. The shower felt great, the evening’s dinner was the usual business-esque small talk. And, hey, I got my 5 miles in.

It was doubly funny to read Darrell's post from running in the rain last Saturday in SoCal. We have this connection...what a deal!

Running often brings a surprise, always fun. Persevere, dry or wet.


Backofpack said...

There's nothing like a run in the rain. And there's no sense in waiting it out - at least not if you live in WA. Didn't you feel like one tough dude afterwards? Good for you!

IronWaddler said...

I love to run in the run! Good for you running it back!

Darrell said...

toad strangler - that's a new one on me. I like it. We rarely get anything to that degree out here, maybe a toad tickler? Fortunately for us folks in Sunny Southern California, running in the rain is a rare occassion.

I like the coach's advice and I always tell myself "at some point you can't get any wetter so you might as well keep on going."

You are sure racking up the running memories in Bloomington!

Sarah said...

Here's to getting your 5 miles in, despite the weather conditions! Amazingly, I haven't run in the rain yet this season. But tomorrow the forecast is for continual rain, so I guess I'll get my feet wet, so to speak. ; ) : )