Note:

This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Well, That Sucked!

This is what I said to the only other person I met, stranded in the middle of Saturday's thunderstorm. There we were, under the Millbrook bridge, right by Shelley Lake, watching the water rage beside us.

I knew it was supposed to t'storm sometime Saturday. I knew this well because we had CJ's birthday party planned for the early afternoon...a POOL party. The last thing we would need for that was rain and fortunately, it was one of the best days for a pool party. SUCCESS.

But since our morning and afternoon were filled with hoopla, I had forgone my Saturday five mile run. But around 3:30 PM, I started convincing myself that I did have the energy to go run...and what better way than to run off the hotdog, burger, and cake I had for lunch. :-)

So I got ready and waved goodbye to all and mentioned that I would be at Shelley Lake. I drove over thinking about how flat my course would be (yay!) and that I could probably make my sub-10 mn/mile pace for five miles. I had already broken it down: run out for 2 1/2 (no problem) then back for 2 1/2 (again, shouldn't be a problem).

It was raining on and off for a little bit, so I wasn't worried. And with meteorologists in this area, they cannot be relied upon so I figured I'd run in some showers but wasn't concerned about anything else happening.

So I parked in a nice spot at the lower parking lot of Shelley, which is adjacent to Millbrook Road -- a very busy Raleigh road. There were a good many cars in the parking lot so there were still folks taking in the park at that time of day.

I took off on Crabtree Trail, which takes you out to, where else, Crabtree Valley Mall, alongside Crabtree Creek. For a good while, I passed no one and then there were more folks coming out of the woodwork.

I decided that I wanted to run three miles out so that I could stop to walk once I reached my five miles after turning back around. And I was soooo looking forward to that walk because I was pushing my pace to be sub-10.

I actually turned around about 2.75, once I reached the end of the trail that goes under Edwards Mill Road. I didn't want to turn around and have to run UP the trail...but I knew I'd still have a bit of time to walk back to my car.

The weather turned about 3.75 miles into my run, on my way back to my starting point. I was stranded. And there was not a single soul around me. Lighting and thunder all around me and all I could think of was that it shouldn't be too long for me to get back to the car.

But it felt like forever. It was just downpouring on me and I had no shelter to go to. For a brief second, I thought I could take the long upward trail to North Hills park and hang out there, but I felt like that would be trying to get there and also, it's out of my way. I really believed the storm would stop soon and I could 'run it out'.

But no...the trail was flooded. I was soaked to the bone. And I was nervous that lightning would hit close by because, well, I was running in flooded waters.

At one point in the trail, a tree was knocked down. I swear that tree was not down when I passed it the first time. It blocked the entire trail except for where one foot could pace after the other. I would have remembered that but I convinced myself that it had to be there because there was no smoke coming out of the base of the trunk. I needed to believe that to suppress my panic.

I couldn't believe how freaking long this trail was. I run this trail a zillion times and I know it inside-out and yet this day, I was running an endless trail to make it back to my car.

Finally, I make it to the first underground tunnel under Millbrook. Again, I pass NO ONE and no one passes me. I feel like I'm the only one in the world stupid enough to run in a thunderstorm. I take a break to catch my breath and move on to the next tunnel, with the morbid thought that I would get struck by lightning as I ventured into the small opening between tunnel one and tunnel two.

In tunnel two, I fully expected to see a horde of people ducking out from the rain but no, only one lone male biker. I stopped and said 'well that sucked!' and he also shared the sentiment, defending his choice of biking by stating that he checked the radar before heading out and it was clear. I sort of doubted it since, well, it had been raining on and off for the past 30 minutes. I bid the lone biker farewell and good luck as I sprinted towards my car.

Once I got to my car, I noticed that my driver's side window was shattered. For a brief moment, I thought "Did lightning strike my car?" and when I looked in, I noticed that my purse, that I thought I had concealed so nicely, was GONE. My car had been broken into during the thundershower. And I looked around the parking lot, which was entirely empty except for two other cars that were empty.

I then went into 'do-not-panic' mode which is not actually a calm mode, but more a survival method in getting home. I swooshed the glass from my seat, oblivious to getting any cuts on me. I wanted to call Tim but my phone was in my purse. I panicked about my car keys because I remembered, before leaving the car, that I had my FOB in hand and wondered where I should put my car keys. Because I was too lazy to remove the purse from its concealed location, I dropped them into the bin in the center of the car. Smart move because I would have been really stranded without a phone and keys...

I shut the door only to have more glass crash onto me...whatever was left on the window...and noticed I couldn't see dick in front of me. My windows were so fogged over. I tried the wipers then realized I needed defrost. So you can see, I am not in a clear state of mind but I'm also not wigging out...or maybe I am, just quietly?

I start driving and I try not to think too much about what my losses are...but I do realize that I had emptied most of my stuff out...and pretty much the only reason I took the purse was that it had my phone and my driver's license. But now I'm kicking myself for taking my purse...I was only going for a run!!! Whatever. What's done is done.

I noticed that I am bleeding on both hands. Well, my left wrist -- and it looks pretty bad -- and my right fingers are just dripping with blood. I don't think about it because if I do, I'll pass out.

The trip home -- which is about 2 1/2 miles -- felt as long as it did while running in the t'storm.

But I made it home, rushed in and told my story. We've stopped credit cards, canceled the phone and called the cops.

My wounds are minor -- scrapes on my fingers from swooshing the glass off and my wrist has the worst of it but fortunately, coagulated pretty quickly. That, I believe, came from the falling glass that hit me when I shut my door.

So I find it ironic that I have a post, just the one before this, that talks about a good day and I follow-up with this event. I guess there has to be the yin and the yang, with regards to the good and the bad.

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