Saturday, April 24, 2010

Nature's surround sound

Saturday morning arrived with cloudy skies and temps in the low 50's. Looked like we had received a little rain overnight, and a quick check of the radar indicated my area was in a dry slot with most of the rain was in southern MN. I headed out for my run.

Everything was going just fine until around mile 7 when a few raindrops started to fall. I could see the southern skies darkening, and I started to hear some claps of distant thunder.

A couple of miles later, the heavens opened up. It started with some large raindrops intermingling with...pea-sized hail? Good grief! This is the first time I have ever been caught in hail on a run (it stings). The hail subsided quickly enough, but heavy rain continued, along with more thunder and lightning.

In no time, I was drenched. Large puddles quickly appeared along the trails. Gutters along the side streets became small rivers. We received a tremendous amount of rain in a very short period of time.

(Nice morning for the Get In Gear, by they way! I will be interested in reading some race reports.)

I will say this much - there are few things cooler than being able to hear thunder when you are outside. It is just an amazing sound. The rumbling can not only be heard, but also felt. This vast, expansive sound makes you feel small. Mother Nature's surround sound system absolutely rocks!

I actually met another runner during the worst of it. We exchanged "Good mornings" with a little bit of a laughter in our voices, both keenly aware that we didn't do a very good job of interpreting the local weather forecast.

Clothing completely saturated? Check. Shoes waterlogged? Check. Chafing badly because every article of clothing was clinging to my body? Really big check. Good times!

Can you believe I ran 20 miles in this crap? This was the weekend for my "long run" in preparation for my marathon in a couple weeks! In spite of the conditions, I ran OK. But never have I been so happy to take a hot shower and put on some dry clothes.

So, with that, let the taper begin! :)

A couple of random notes:

1. This morning I noticed two different flowers. The marsh marigolds are in full bloom in one of the local parks I passed. The swamp was just a sea of yellow flowers. And, I saw some lilacs along the trail that are just starting to bloom. This is, I believe, the earliest I have ever seen both. In fact, I know a couple of years ago during a cool spring, the lilacs were not out until Memorial Day weekend.

2. Here are a couple of belated action shots of me from last weekend's Trail Mix 25k - My friend Jon was there with his family, and his daughter was kind enough to snap a few photos of me. It is kind of rare that I get any photos of me actually running in a race, so these were fun to receive.

Yours truly, completing the first lap

And, here I am at the finish

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