Thursday, November 25, 2010

Turkey Trot Meets Great Flood

1 hour 40 mins.
12 miles

While many of my friends in Charlotte, Atlanta and Dallas were lacing up their boots for a formalized Turkey Trot, Jordan and I were meeting up with my dad in the kitchen of my parents' East Texas home to drink some coffee in preparation for our own trot of sorts. Though no such official event exists in the Piney Woods region, my dad nonetheless assembled over a dozen of his friends and fellow local runners to partake in an early morning pre-feast run. Naturally, Jordan and I were the featured celebrity guests, which no doubt accounted for the unusually high attendance.

The sky was just beginning to lighten as we set off down the country roads, naturally clumping into several different pace groups. Jordan and I planned to run a half hour or so with the group before splitting off to lengthen the route. The odds of doubling after the Thanksgiving feast were nil, which meant we needed to get in a respectable distance this morning. So, after 30 or so minutes of shuffling along with the geezers (kidding, Dad), we picked up the pace and struck out on our own. In retrospect, our decision might not have been the most prudent, but we could hardly know that at the time. The first few ominous sprinkles were just beginning to fall as we waved goodbye to our fellow trotters.

Within what seemed like seconds, that all changed. Rain began to fall; steady but pleasant at first, then gradually swelling to an almost deafening crescendo of water. To make matters worse, for the next few miles we were running directly into a headwind, which made the droplets feel like tiny shards of glass pelting our exposed skin. Every time I thought it couldn't rain any harder, it did. At one point I literally turned and ran sideways because the water was flooding my contact lenses to the point of near blindness. The ground, previously dry, became a flash flood in minutes, and at certain points Jordan and I were tromping through ankle deep puddles. To say this made for an uncomfortable middle section of the run would be putting it mildly.

And then, just as abruptly as it began, the deluge stopped. Even more incredibly, it was replaced by what I swear was two-thirds of a double rainbow. A double rainbow, people! We weren't quite as excited about it as this guy, but nonetheless it was a pretty amazing sight. Even more bizarre was the curtain of rain that seemed to dance back and forth just a few meters in front of us, pelting a few square feet at a time before moving on to new territory. We found ourselves briefly soaked again as we ran through its pocket, but were on the other side again in just a few seconds. Mercifully, the rest of the run was dry and uneventful, and my dad even had fresh donuts waiting for us upon our return. My legs weren't terribly banged up, but my body was as exhausted as if it had just endured a natural disaster. Thank goodness there was nothing on tap for the remainder of the day except eating turkey, drinking homemade pumpkin spice lattes and watching the Cowboys lose. After such a crazy morning, I don't think I could handle any more Thanksgiving excitement.