Monday, January 16, 2017
Running Through a Horror Film
A few years ago a wrote a post about how sometimes just an ordinary training run can become a memorable run, one you will remember for a long time to come. Last Thursday's run was one such run for me.
Let me set the scene. Since the temps were going to be nearing 60 on Thursday, I knew that was the day I was going to run on the trail. It sprinkled and rained on and off all day while I was at work, but it remained warm so I still planned to do the run.
As I was driving to the trail, the sky was blue and the sun was out. I was all excited about this warm run. As I turned down the road to the trail, grey clouds loomed. When I arrived, I found a ton of people all on the trail too. There were several groups of runners from the local university, and then many of other people just walking. Even though I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt, I decided to throw on my visor and windbreaker in case it started to rain again.
My plan was to do a 6 mile run/walk ( basically run all of the first 3 miles and then run /walk the last 3).
After mile 1, I checked my Garmin and saw that I was keeping a good pace. I was pleased. After the first mile it started to sprinkle, then rain (a pretty light rain but was more than a sprinkle). Even though I had my visor on, I got water in my eye so started to rub it. After I rubbed my eye, I was a little freaked out because I couldn't see, Oh no. Had I lost my contact lens?
I pulled myself over to the side of the trail and stood under a tree, which obviously did not provide as much protection from the rain as I was hoping. I got my phone out (again, in the rain and was really worried about it getting wet since it has already started to go on the brink), but I had no choice, I had to look in my eye to see if my contact was still in tact somewhere, perhaps under my eye lid. It was getting increasingly more difficult to hold my phone with one hand and keep my eye open with the other hand as I searched for the missing contact lens. I knew there were others walking on the trail and I did notice an older lady behind me when I was running. Perhaps she could help me.
She must have turned around earlier because she never walked by. In fact, no one came by. Finally, the contact lens fell out of my eye. I was relieved that I had found it, but again, trying to hold my phone and put my lens in while it was raining was very difficult. It wasn't going well. I even had the thought of What will happen if I can't get this lens back in? How will I drive home? I decided to put my phone in my pocket and just try to put the lens in by feel. I've been wearing contact lenses for more than 20 years, for sure I could do this. After I few more tries, success!
Okay, after all that I had the thought of turning around and calling it a day since it started to rain a little heavier. But I didn't. If I turned around now, I'd only gotten in 4 miles. For sure I can run another mile before turning around. When I got to mile 2.5, the thought occurred to me that I should turn around because it will be getting dark soon. But I didn't. I came to do 6 miles and that's what I was going to do.
When I got to the 3 mile mark I had planned to do a run/walk on the way back but the rain was coming down even harder now so I did a lot more running than walking.
It indeed got really dark fairly quickly. I was so glad that I had my Run Lites with me. However, I was only using one of them. I had my phone in my jacket pocket, but my jacket was completely soaked and I figured that my phone was NOT being protected very well. I decided to put my phone inside the other Run Lite glove for a little more protection from the rain. I then put it in the inside pocket of my jacket and hoped for the best.
I have to tell you that the rest of the run back I was SO scared. I didn't see another person on the trail, and except for the light from my glove, it was dark. It was pouring down rain, I was running in the "wooded" part of the trail, and I could feel the mud slushing under my feet and kicking up on the back of my calves. I could tell I was starting to panic cus my breathing was getting heavier. I felt like I was running for my life, and I didn't even remember to bring my pepper spray. Nobody even knew where I was. I felt like I was in a scene from a horror movie for sure.
Around the last mile, the trail opens up a bit (less trees), and I can see the headlights from the cars driving on the highway near by. I can smell a neighboring home doing laundry (you know that smell of fabric softener when someone is drying clothes?), and thought Oh what I wouldn't give right now for a big warm fluffy bath towel.
During the last half mile I passed a lady who was also running but she was running with an umbrella. She was wearing long pants and a long shirt so I couldn't actually tell if she was out on the trail because she was purposely running or if she just got caught in the rain.
I finally made it back to my car and a few minutes later I saw the umbrella lady again, which made me think that she was purposely running. Everything on my body was completely soaked. I pulled out my phone and was glad to see that it was still in working condition. I stripped off my soaked jacket and t-shirt and although I did have an extra pair of pants in the car, I kept my shorts on because my legs were so wet (and I didn't have a towel), and I didn't feel like putting wet legs inside dry pants.
Even my drive home was a bit scary. It was dark, and I could see some fog rolling off in the distance. I couldn't wait to get home and get into a hot shower!
So, even though I will remember this as a horrific run, I will see the positives in it.
1. I set out to do 6 miles and I stuck to it (although I should have turned around earlier than I did)
2. I am thankful I wore my "older" shoes.
3. I'm thankful my ipod didn't go on the brink like it did last time I ran in the rain.
4. Extremely thankful my phone still works.
5. Thankful I was able to salvage my contact lens.
6. Thankful I'm still alive (okay, this may be a little dramatic).
Okay and after all this, when I got home to get in the shower, I found out that the strap on my Garmin was broken. -M
Have you experienced any of this on a run? What was your scariest run?