This weekend I was supposed to run five miles, which is not much longer than I am running on weekday mornings. I left the house at 8 a.m. with a gray sky but nothing menacing. As I started running south, the clouds behind me seemed to get thicker. And darker. And then, menacing. Thinking I could just outrun the rain, stop at my turnaround, wait for it to pass and continue on my way I figured I had a pretty good plan.
I ran, turned around at my halfway point, and it started to sprinkle. And then rain. And then downpour. I ran to a shopping center overhang and waited it out while watching the cars. I figured Shea would definitely roll over in bed, hear the thunder and rain, and come get me. False. The rain stopped, so I figured if I ran fast, I could at least make it home even if I got a little wet.
I made it a half mile when the lightning started. The kind that you see and then the following crack is earth shattering. The lightning kept coming and I remembered that someone from my hometown died while walking during lightning. Thinking death is less desirable than a good running time, I took shelter in Starbucks (only nine blocks from home) just as the sheets of rain began.
After lurking near the doorway, I finally got in line and pitifully asked if I, a wet and sweaty mess, could use their phone. After alerting Shea that I needed rescued, I stood huddled in a corner sweating and shaking from cold all the same. A very nice man approached me and said his girlfriend mentioned she heard I got caught in the rain while running, and could he buy me a cup of coffee. I declined, but still smile when I think about his kindness.
Shea arrived, and we quickly realized we were now stuck in the parking lot due to a completely flooded street. This was happening just a few blocks away:
So we scrapped together change and ordered a short coffee (note: there is a size smaller than "tall" at Starbucks, they just don't advertise it. But if you tell them you're paying with the coins you found underneath your car seats, they reveal their secrets.)
We made it home without floating away. Moral of the story: You cannot outrun a storm. Between flash flooding and dog bites, it's been a hard training week.