Sunday, August 20, 2006

Runnin’ in the Rain

Who would’ve guessed that today’s 30% chance of rain would all come pouring down at once, about an hour into my morning run?

I headed out under patchy, slightly overcast skies. I was glad for a break from the sun, and for the cool breeze. Such a rare and welcome relief in August! I trotted along the bayou trail toward downtown, through the art park and along the new trails past the aquarium and Wortham Theater. Very nice. I came back on the Allen Parkway side, and that’s when the thunder began.

It started as a low grumbling off to the south, where the skies were darkening and thunderheads piling up. But the sky to the north was still blue. I decided to keep running. I’ve seen systems swirl all around my part of town without ever dropping any rain.

I finished the bayou loop and started up Memorial Drive. I stopped at the runner-friendly Shell station for some cold water, and when I came out, the sky was turning black toward the south. More thunder. My plan was to run up to Chimney Rock and back, but if this storm meant business…

Oh, what the heck. I don’t much like running in the rain, and I won’t do it at all in cool weather, but in August? Might be nice. I continued.

When I got to the 610 Loop, I looked to the south and now the darkness was spreading out across the sky, full of mumbling thunder and punctuated by high flashes of lightning. It’s pretty typical though, for storms to hit one part of the city and not another. Maybe it wouldn’t make it this far. And if it did, it would pass quickly, right? Summer storms always do.

I went on, while streetlights turned themselves on and the first misty drops speckled my arms.

Somewhere around Antoine, the rain began coming down. It was a pleasant shower at first, and it was so nice to be having a cool run in August. What a treat! But then the skies opened up and it began pouring! Well, I was already soaked through, so I could see no point in stopping and seeking shelter. Sure, the thunder was crashing and booming all around and there was some high lightning, but the lightning wasn’t actually hitting anything. It’s a funny thing about inner-city lightning— it seems to almost never actually strike.

So I pushed on, splashing through the puddles, raindrops fogging my glasses, fully expecting the storm to blow right on through. No luck. I got to my turnaround point and headed back, and still no letup in sight. The dips in the sidewalks were filling with water and I was getting seriously annoyed at the way the rain just kept on coming. This was not 30% chance of rain. This was not a passing summer shower.

But hey, stopping would’ve only given me a chance to get chilled. Might as well keep moving.

The rain finally started letting up around the time I got back to Memorial Park. I had been running in a downpour for half an hour! But as the skies lightened and the rain dwindled to a light shower, I saw to my delight that Memorial Park was deserted.

10 am on a Saturday morning and I had the whole park to myself! This was definitely worth a drenching.

Three miles later and I was home, taking off my squishy shoes and socks outside the door. I was no more wet and drippy than I ever am after an August long run. But because it was rain and not sweat, I sure smelled a lot better!

Today’s Workout
13 mile run in the rain


Kyle said...

We can ony hope Stinky got caught in it too. Congrats on the first reading, something to be proud of.

Jill said...

We just missed each other on Saturday. I stopped off at the Shell station for a little break before heading back into the park. But then again - if we saw each other we probably wouldn't know it!!

I didn't get too wet when the down pour started - I tried to keep under the cover of trees as much as possible.

bunnygirl said...

Yeah, Jill. I'd be looking for a ferret, you'd be looking for a rabbit... We'd miss each other, for sure!

Rachel said...

I LOVE running in the rain.

Bolder said...

what is a 'runner friendly' gas station?

how do you distinguish them from the not-friendly??

Jill said...

Maybe if you wore your bunny ears!!

But then what would I wear? Hmmm...

rice said...

I find it so refreshing to run in the rain..