21 February 2011

It Was Supposed To Be an Easy Run, Not an Adventure Run

Muffin is now officially taking a bottle for breakfast which means Mike and I can share the early morning duties. On my mornings off I really want to go running because if I don't do it first thing I don't get around to it later in the day.

Today was our first morning with the new plan and my first day of half marathon training. I've decided to run the Hyderabad Half Marathon in November. I'm so out of shape that I need to work on my base mileage and I was hoping for two, if not more, miles today to get me started.

It was very dark when I left this morning and it was sprinkling a bit. I don't think it's supposed to be raining this time of year, but I didn't think a sprinkle was a big deal. I've run through worse. I grabbed a headlamp and my phone and I started off. I didn't like running in the dark. The power went out in the neighborhood just as I left our gate so what little light there was on the street disappeared, except for my headlamp and a handful of cars. I have a good idea of where the speed bumps are and where the street dogs nest, so I could avoid those obstacles, but I still didn't like the darkness.

I jogged down the hill and the rain started getting heavier. I wasn't wearing a hat, but I still wasn't concerned about the rain. I just kept thinking, "I've run through worse. And at least it's warm out. I'll get wet but I won't freeze to death." I've run and walked on these roads dozens of times in the daylight so I let instinct guide me. I was actually starting to have fun in the pre-dawn quiet.

Then a true downpour started. I reached a corner where, even though I knew where to go, the rain was so heavy, the visibility was zero, there was thunder and lightning, there were no streetlights, and my headlamp was barely cutting through, I felt disoriented and suddenly couldn't remember which way to go. I stopped and looked at my GPS. I'd been out for ten minutes and run nearly a mile, but something told me not to continue down the hill, further away from home, to turn around at an even mile. I looked up the hill but couldn't see the road. I just stood there waiting for either the rain to let up or for the sun to come up. Eventually one of those things had to happen.

The sun came up first. I turned and started jogging back up the hill, taking the shortest (yet steepest!) route home. The rain was still torrential and I took off my glasses and slowed to a walk. In that brief amount of downpour, the road was turning into a rushing river. Water washed over my ankles as I picked my way up the hill, peering at gates, hoping I wouldn't walk by my own house. I almost walked into the wrong gate, one similar to ours, but realized it before turning the handle. 

I was gone for less than twenty minutes and covered only 1.4 miles but it felt like a long run. Now I'm thinking, though, the darkness won't be so bad next time as long as it's dry! I was hoping for a better first day but maybe it's best that I got a difficult run out of the way so early, in order to make the next few runs seem easier.


christine said...

I'm currently training for a marathon and the downpour this morning I slogged through was nothing what you had to deal with!!

Donna said...

Running in the dark? In a downpour? You're braver than me!