I hope that I can do this story justice, as it must be told. No one was really there to see it – what a waste. It is a funny story. It isn’t about disease prevention directly, but I suppose it qualifies indirectly. It is a story about what happened when I went running yesterday morning – and running is exercise and exercise is medicine and the fountain of youth so let’s dig in:
On Friday, I needed to get up and complete my run before a meeting on campus at 11am. I wanted to run about six miles and was considering trying an amended route. I had explored this on USATF running routes to make sure it would be about right and I would not get lost. I was looking forward to the run because we have been having some unusual weather here in Greensboro NC. It has been very cold (for me, for NC), and I have run in hats, gloves and tights in 25* weather but it has also been in the 40*s and even higher. It also has rained often, but I have managed to work my run days around that. I keep a steady eye on the weather, as I had Thursday evening. And the expectation was a near 60 degree morning for Friday! Crazy, I know. I had put out running shorts and a tee shirt the night before as I had not run in shorts since my December visit to Florida.
I was ALL set.
The first thing that went wrong was my GPS watch – but I didn’t know that until later. Instead, as I awakened with my coffee and the news, I was confused because the rain showers from the night before had not exactly ended. It was not raining, but storms or showers were still possible for the next hour or so. Of course, I could not wait – I had a meeting. I vacillated, but I could not stay undecided for long. The weatherman was saying that the temperature would be moderate all day, but would be dropping, not rising. I finally decided to go out. Thinking, I can always turn around if it does start to storm ( I say, and never do).
As I started running, in my shorts(!), my watch failed. “Oh, bother.” I did not want to run the new route without my tracking device, but I was fine. I chose another way. About ¼ of a mile into my run, it began to rain. Not heavy and it was not cold. About one mile out, well, it was raining pretty hard. At about two miles, it stopped and the sun came out. It rained again later, but at about mile five, when I was almost done, it seemed that the rain was all past. I smiled. I was proud of myself for sticking with it. The day would be even better because I had gone on this run. I had even run a little faster than usual (it was raining and a bit chilly after all).
So here I came into the home stretch. Of course, this was not the first time I ran in the rain, heaven’s no. And certainly it was not the worst rain I have run in. Not on purpose, but I have gotten caught in storms so bad I was certain to meet ‘my maker’ with a lightning bolt. I have run into and through puddles that came half way up my shins. And I have chosen to start a 13 mile run in a very heavy downpour in Florida (no thunder and lightning then - though). I have run when it was cold enough to freeze my face and another time, when ice cycles formed on my gloves (I knew because I heard a funny sound and it was the rubbing of the ice on my stomach as my arms and hands moved back and forth). I have run in wind gusts that pushed me backwards. Oh YES – ' - insert chest thumping ' – I AM a RUNNER.
But I had NEVER experienced what was about to happen at mile 5 of my Friday 6 mile run…
I came around the corner which had me back on same traveled ground – if that makes sense. Can’t show you the map because the watch wasn’t working. But here is a similar map.
I had run up one road, crossed over so I ran back on a parallel road and then came back across at an under pass. So that the first and last mile were on the same roads – get it?
I crossed the street at the light, and in the glory I described above, went back under the bridge (see where the lines reconnect) and as I did so….. cars were in both lanes going West past me (I was on the sidewalk). The car in the nearest lane to me hit a puddle that literally gushed over me from Feet to Face – drenched as though a tidal wave had hit me. I was totally engulfed in the water, and I squealed out loud. I don’t think the driver caught it, but the lady in the outer lane sure did. It was PRICELESS. My shirt and shorts, everything was plastered to my body, to the left side of my body - because of torquing water flow. The splash went directly into my face as well.
Of course I kept running!! About a ¼ mile after that, because I had no running buddy to say it for me, out loud I exclaimed, “THAT was Awesome!!”