Last night, I had to crunch in a four-mile run after dinner. I was pressed by a couple of things. I wanted to first feed Ellison and take on some of the early evening duties there and then I wanted to catch the better part of the Celtics/Heat game which was coming on at 1900. It was 1830 and I sat down with my lovely wife to watch some cat absolutely blow it on Wheel of Fortune (dude couldn’t get a lay-up with the song title “I A_ A MATERIA_ _IR_” and then blew it by not pluralizing “cookies” as he attempted to solve with a $10,000 wheel piece in his lap…girls wouldn’t had made those mistakes). I finished stretching, loaded some White Stripes on my iPod, synched up my watch and looked out the back door as I swore I heard thunder. I peak out and see that the pavement is a little damp. More like some kid spit on it. Not really any reason for worry. Weather moves fast in West Texas. It’s here one minute and gone the next. Figured that, at the very worst, it’d last five minutes and be gone leaving me with a beautiful 35 minutes of glory. I check the radar before heading out and, sure enough, a pin-sized storm just north of the city had flared up. Nothing fussing about. I’ve run through much worse.
I finish a few stretches on the front porch and it becomes to come down rather hard. Suddenly. They call this phenomenon “flash flooding”–torrential downpour that starts suddenly, floods severely and next thing you know, you’re swimming down the block like it’s the Mississippi River. Not expecting that, I head down to the end of the block as the rain lets up slightly and begin my fourbie. Kick off the iPod. Stretch arms, back, shoulders and neck. Commence running.
By the time I made it a quarter-mile down the block, it started pouring again. If there’s any fortunate part of running in the rain, it’s that once you’re soaked, it really just goes up from there. Unless you’re doing serious miles and then you have to worry about chub chafe and bleeding nipples. For short distances like four or five miles, no reason to worry. Getting wet is the hardest part. Once you’re drenched, you just keep going to keep you’re body temperature up. I proceeded at a pace of about 9:25 per mile…faster than normal. As I pulled through my dark neighborhood, I noticed lightning in almost every direction. It seemed to surround me. I started getting concerned that my assessment of the radar was a little negligent. Did I miss something? It looked like a dot on the radar when I left.
When I came around on mile three, the wind started kicking up. Almost blew the soaked cap off of my head. Now, you throw a 40MPH wind gust on top of wet clothes, that’s cold as hell. More lightning. More thunder. All systems are waterproof so I just put my head down and keep slugging away at it. I’m about three-fourths of a mile from home, but I take to my original plan to pull another mile. Here’s where it got crazy.
At the 3.50 mark, it began to freaking hail. I’m a half mile from the house. The puddles have become lakes, the wind is incredible. The lightning is blinding and it begins to hail. A PT Cruiser pulls up aside of me and motions whether or not I wanted a ride. A sensible man would’ve taken it. I waved them off. The damage was already done at this point. I’m five minutes from the house getting nailed with all the elements. No cover. Not a dry hair on my body and running like hell’s on my heels.
When I get back to my block, the rain lets off again. I walk languidly back up to my house. Soaked. The front porch lights are on and there’s, count ’em, two dry towels hanging on the door. I chuckle.
I chuckle because I know damn well my lovely wife was livid at me going out in this mess and running a complete four miles. She knew I had an opportunity to bail out at any time and come back. She knew I’m too stupid for my own good. She knew that I don’t know when to just stop. Despite that, she lovingly hung two nice dry towels on the front porch. She’s a good woman, f’real.
I walk up to the front porch. Rip off my shirt, ditch my hat, kick off my shoes. I think the only thing I left on were my panties. I walk in and my lovely wife comes up to me and scolds me at first, “Don’t ever do that again. I was worried for the last hour about you!” Shivering, I lower my head. “Yeah, that was pretty stupid. I swear the radar was pretty clean when I left.”
She throws a towel over me. “I’m warming up your bathrobe in the dryer.”
Here’s why girls are freaking cool. They’re nurturers. She could’ve ripped my head off and thrown it to Dumas, but no. She went into motherly console and nurture mode. She’s right. I’m mean to her. Running around the neighborhood like a freaking nincompoop in the pouring rain and hail. She deserved to be mad, but what was angered dissolved quickly into laughs, smiles and a nice warm bathrobe. I don’t deserve such a good wife. Girls are cool because they’re better wives than men are husbands. They care. They swaddle. They rock you to sleep. They take the temperature. They administer the medication. They give nice kisses on the forehead. They hug. They cuddle. They do all the things that make life livable sometimes.
And, as for that storm: it rained all through the night. Like all through the night. Which explains why I was up at 0400 this morning because I don’t have a lot of training at sleeping through thunderstorms. Not in West Texas. That dot on the radar, turned into a night of storms and when I opened up the radar this morning, this is what it looked like.
Amarillo’s at the tail end of a monster that extends all the way up to Minnesota. And, yes, that’s snow on the radar. In fact, as proof. Here’s what the local weather showed on the site.
I just looked out the back door and sure enough. Lightning and thunder with snowflakes the size of chocolate chip cookies. Freaky weather. And, in case you’re keeping score, Ellison slept through all of that. She was given her first round of shots yesterday and caught a case of the sleeps. It’s Friday and girls are cool, son. You didn’t know?