"Running is a four-weathered sport."
"Anita, it's going to thunderstorm, do you have a back up plan?"
Even at 6:30am I was awake enough to respond to Andy with a very serious chuckle.
Back up plan?!
NOT RUNNINING wasn't an option. Training for Hennipen doesn't give much mercy.
"Running trails is my back up plan."
We had planned to run the Polly Ann trail for a couple weeks. Lacey even was able to come out and join us.
We had strategized this training run to train as if we were running Hennipen.
Flat, wearing our packs, eating, drinking, walk breaks, and 18 miles of it.
We didn't plan the thunderstorm.
The trails we normally run (Holdridge, Holly Rec, Highland Rec) are deep in the woods protecting us from the elements.
Polly Ann trail is very scenic with ponds, deer, wild life and beautiful homes tucked in a park like setting. It is part of the rails to trails. The trail surface is crushed aggregate making running on it pleasant. This trail is not as canopied, leaving you a little more vulnerable to the elements.
We met as scheduled at 8:30am at the Oxford Library. It was NOT raining.
It took 3 miles for the skies to open up and the thunder to roll. Lighting lit the sky up, "Here IT COMES" I would giggle as I waited for the rumble to shake the earth.
It didn't take long for the rain to saturate every stitch of our clothing. We didn't see another runner or biker. I began to think we were a bit toadventurous.
But I was quickly reminded "Hey, it could rain like this the whole time at Hennipen."
It's good training.
We planned to take intentional walk breaks. The first 10 miles we were doing pretty good. I think they were more like pee breaks but they were breaks that had us walking, drinking and eating. Unfortunately, this skin flinn was shivering pretty bad. We ran from Oxford to Leonard. On our way back I couldn't get warm. I picked the pace up a little bit and kept an eye on how long we stopped to walk.
No one said anything until about mile 15. Then I got busted. I was just so darn cold and the bugs were attacking us, mostly Matt. They liked him the most, and I was happy for that. If ever there is a time I didn't need another companion, it was then. At one time, Matt had more than a half dozen black flies catching a ride on his back. Lacey was taking great pleasure in beating them off his back and neck. SMACK! I was cracking up. WHAP! SLAP!
We finished with 18 miles of puddle jumping, bug slapping, thunder booming miles. And we all had a blast. We normally hang out, chat and eat after. We all had to get back to adulting. We did spare about 15 minutes and met at Starbucks to quickly warm up, recap and plan out our next run....Saturday...
If this wasn't adventurous enough..Saturday, Midnight Run!! Its all good training they said.
My mother in law gets a bit worried for me, so I waited till after we ran to text her back!
She loves me.