Thursday night. I hadn’t done anything all week, not since running home from the Y on Sunday afternoon, and swimming Tuesday evening. Work was tough – go figure, since I’d been gone for two weeks. Nothing like playing catch up.
The kids were in bed. The wife was working. The evening air was heavy, ripe with the promise of rain. So, I stuffed the iPod in a plastic bag, laced up the Gel Cumulii once more, and set out.
As I headed up and over Cow Hill, there was a little bit of thunder in the air. I considered heading back (And, yes, I should have), but there was something there – a spring in the step that hadn’t been there for a while. So I pressed on, thinking I’d do the quick 5 mile loop on River Road and home.
As I approached the underpass for IH-95, the skies opened up in earnest. Rain fell, the breeze turned into wind, and the dry spaces beneath the trees started getting wet. I thought about resting under the bridge and waiting for the storm to pass, but instead I pressed on, taking High Street towards downtown.
At Star Street, again, I thought about turning back. I hung the left to head down to River Road, and the rain turned to a deluge. My shoes were completely soaked, my t-shirt clinging to me like, well, a wet t-shirt. At river Road, I decided to turn right and loop, in the rain, through downtown.
Downtown, the rain tapered, and then stopped completely. The air took on that brilliant shine that you can only get in the immediate aftermath of a thunderstorm. The thunder continued on out past Fisher’s Island, and the sunset began to break through the clouds.
The run on up River Road towards home was ephemeral, all fireflies and glassy water and unseasonably cool. The more I wished for the moment to stretch on into forever, the more the sun kept on past sunset, darkness rushing through the sky.
As I walked up the final hill towards the house, though, I got the letdown of not hearing Lance or Paula’s congratulations on a good run… And, the tightness in the calves, and the spent feeling inherent in pushing one’s limits.
I stuffed my soaked shoes with newspaper (one of them running tricks you read about but never try). THe next day – dry as bones, and good to go for 5K at lunch with Johnny Klink.