Running in the Rain

We had some pretty severe thunderstorms roll through yesterday afternoon and again last night.  The afternoon storm took many people by surprise, including my son who was driving home from the gym when the heavens opened.  Within twenty minutes, streets were flooding and little hail peas were floating on top of what he described as the ocean at the end of our street, he reported.  There were a few trash cans and other such stuff headed down the street as well.

The wind blew down some branches here and there and our power was out for a couple of hours.  Three people were killed from falling trees.  Looking at the storm on the radar, it was slightly donut shaped, with red and yellow on the leading arc, light green or clear in the middle, and then yellow on the back side.  During the donut hole period, my younger son called for me to come and pick him and a friend up from a third friend's house.  So, off I went, dodging recycling bins and branches in the street (the water had all managed to make it into the storm drains by then), trying to calculate the route in which I would encounter the fewest stoplights, which would probably be out.

As I neared the first intersection, I saw a runner headed across the street.  He was soaked, as runners often are by one means or another, and running along at what looked to be a relaxed pace.  At first I was appalled.  No doubt more thunder and lightning and wind was coming and here this guy is running down a tree lined street.

Then I remembered a run I made in the rain.

More than ten years ago, I decided to walk in the Avon Breast Cancer 3-Day, a 60-mile walk from Lake Lanier to Atlanta, to raise money to promote awareness and provide for early breast cancer detection and treatment, especially for low-income women.  (The Three Day is now run by the Susan B. Komen Foundation and has broadened its focus.)  I spent many hours out walking, training for the event.  I'm not a runner, but I do like to walk and was excited by the challenge of walking sixty miles just over a year after my own breast cancer was diagnosed and successfully treated thanks to early detection.

My training walks were often seven to ten miles or so, and I tried to stay on schedule as much as possible. One day, I was about halfway through my walk, four or five miles from home, when a drenching rain began to pour from the heavens.  I'd been pushing it, knowing rain was possible, but thinking I'd beat it home.  I was walking through a leafy tree-lined neighborhood and suddenly, as some thunder boomed in the not-too-far-off distance, realized I needed to get home as fast as I could.

So I started running.  I am not a runner.  I don't really like running.  But, fueled by pure adrenaline, I ran those four or five miles without stopping, through puddles that soaked my shoes even as the rain soaked the rest of me.  And when I got home, I felt great.

I'm still not a runner; I probably haven't run more than a mile in the last ten years.  I can't imagine going out to run in bad weather on purpose.  But I remembered the thrill of that run yesterday as I watched the guy splashing down the street; I hope he got home before the next round of wind and lashing rain.


Ray Barnes said…
Wow Penny, now that's what I call guts.
There is only one place I like to view rain from and that is inside looking out.
Glad you made it safely, hope your yesterday's runner did too.
Well, desperate times call for desperate measures, I guess.

I hope he did, too - there were some people killed in the storm yesterday from trees falling on them, both people in cars and people outside. Our trees are beautiful but dangerous in stormy weather.