I'm working on a Howl post. I promise. But in the mean time I thought it would be easier to rattle off a quick little post about a recent running experience.
Yesterday I was scheduled for a 10 mile run. Oh yeah.....because I decided to finally get in gear and train for the Chicago marathon. I scribbled a plan on paper and so far have been sticking to it pretty good. I wouldn't recommend to most people to train for a full marathon in 6 weeks, but you know....I'm not most people. Do what I say people, not what I do. haha!
We had a pretty busy day planned so I had to be very intentional and specific about getting out the door to get this run done. I had a course plotted out and everything seemed to be falling into place, although I was not looking forward to the 100% humidity that was hanging around. When I arrived to my run start/finish I noticed some cloud coverage. Nothing too worrisome, but I still checked the radar on my weather app. There was one little spot north of where I was running, but not over where I actually was. The prospect of a few sprinkles didn't bother me & the little spot was moving north so I set out on my run. The first portion of my run was going to take me on the main roads around the park.
I was only minutes into my run and the rain started. Again, I could see the clouds to the north. When I looked west it was sunny and blue skies. I still wasn't worried about getting a little wet so I kept running. A few more minutes though and the rain picked up to a lot more than a few sprinkles. It was raining enough that I was beginning to worry about my watch getting too wet. It's splash proof, but not water resistant. And my clothes were beginning to get pretty wet too. Plus running on the main road was getting dicey with the cars not able to see me well as I headed toward them in the rain. At this point I thought "ok, I can wait for this little thing to pass through." I clearly was not in any danger, it didn't appear to really be a storm, just a heavy rain cloud passing through. So I veered off the main road and stood over by some trees by the park path. And I stood....and I stood.....and I stood......
I found the situation a little comical and tried to keep it in perspective. I was getting a little bit wet, but for the most part the tree was providing me some shelter. The rain was a little persistent and went from a little rain to an outright down pour. Right about that time, the wind picked up a little and then the lightening and thunder began to strike. By then I was actually getting a little worried.
I have to rewind to about 6 weeks ago when I was out at this exact same park and a storm came up out of nowhere. I was out walking with a friend and we were fortune to be close enough to seek coverage in a picnic shelter, but also ended up underneath the picnic tables because the storm was so bad we could see and hear whole trees coming down from the wind and lightening. That storm was pretty serious & had wide spread damage all over our town. In hindsight though that storm was so much worse, but in the moment when I was stuck under this tree I was getting worried.
Before anyone says it.....I KNOW that standing under a tree or seeking shelter under a tree is not a good idea in a storm. Ok?!?! Really, give me some credit. This isn't my first rodeo. Except when I first went to the tree I thought I was just waiting out a little rain. If I had known what was coming I would've chosen differently. But I ended up being stuck between a rock and a hard place. And before anyone else even says it: a little rain wasn't going to hurt me either. I KNOW THAT TOO! And when it started to rain maybe I should've just kept running to a safer place, which was about 1/2 mile in one direction or turned back to my van which was about a 1/2 mile in the opposite direction. But I'm glad that I wasn't being stupid about running in this weather, I could've kept going and really put myself in danger. There are lots of shoulda, woulda, couldas in this situation. But there I was feeling stuck under that tree.
For the most part it was really weird because off the my right the sky was fairly blue, maybe just a big white puffy cloud or two lingering there. But to my left the sky was gray and dark and definitely the worse of the 2 sides. And of course, the direction of where my car was parked. Finally after 45 minute of standing under this tree and by now thoroughly soaked from head to toe I decided to make a run for it and head to my van. It was still raining hard, but at least the lightening, thunder and wind had died down. I followed the park trail to my van and some of it was barely passable because so much rain was rapidly covering the path.
I never felt in danger, but I WAS worried at a few moments. I know I tend to come off as this super strong, independent, I can do anything runner, but I am also very much human. I don't always make the best in the moment decisions and then am left trying to make the best of what I've done. And sometimes weathering a situation alone can make it 100x harder. (Although I never felt truly alone as as I knew God was there with me, probably the only thing that helped keep me at peace.) So this left me in a very vulnerable spot. In hindsight though I'm chalking it up to another wild, crazy running adventure. One I won't soon forget.....although for the time being I don't plan to run out there any time soon!!