On July 4th, I had been in the car for hours returning from Nashville and I could feel my legs starting to give me fits. I did not have a chance to run the entire time I was away and I could definitely tell. I did some cross training while I was gone, but I was ready for some distance.
About an hour from the house, I called Marshall and told him I needed to get 4 miles in tonight, my legs were killing me. Then I asked him what he thought about going to the Greenbelt and running 2 miles out and back. That would give me my distance and take us to a different place rather than the park. If we ran the Greenbelt, we would finish just in time and at the perfect location for 4th of July fireworks that would be going off in downtown. We could take a blanket, sit out in the fields and just enjoy being together. Romantic, right? WRONG!
We began our run at 7:15 pm, it was beautiful. Perfect weather, perfect temperature and Marshall brought his bike and rode beside me. Up to this point, Marshall had been running with me, but then we realized that I was going to need extra supplies in my longer runs and a lot more water to keep my throat cooled off. So we thought we could give this a shot. He could carry all our supplies, phones etc. in a sling backpack and ride beside me. Honestly, we loved it! What a great way to train in a buddy system. Plus, he knows me better than anyone and can help me adjust if my throat starts bothering me. He also is a runner and has been an amazing athlete his entire life. (Sorry Marshall, I get to brag on you a little.) Because of this, he has been helping me with form, speed and endurance. Giving me tips and tricks as we go. He is my biggest cheerleader, I couldn’t do any of this without him.
Back to our run. We reached our 2 mile marker and noticed several people in front of us really starting to pick up speed. Then we noticed they were sprinting! We looked up and out of nowhere developed these amazing, black clouds which filled the sky and covered all our sunshine. The clouds literally developed in seconds and was a complete shock to everyone! It did not take us long to realize that we were about to slammed by a major storm.
If you remember, I just mentioned that we had reached our 2 mile point to turn around and go back towards the car. Then you have probably put the pieces together that we had reach our furthest distance and we had no other option but to run the entire distance back. As you can tell from the photos above, there was not a place for us to seek shelter until the storm passed. As Marshall shouted out during the storm, “We really don’t have an option, we are committed to this. Plus, it rains a lot on in Florida! ” His quirky humor never lets me down in moments such as these.
The good news is, the temperature dropped roughly 20 degrees and we had an awesome breeze. The bad news, it wasn’t 2 minutes into the run back to the car that the clouds opened up. The rain turned into, what felt like, a hardcore monsoon. As the wind increased it’s speed, I started to notice I was very much aware of every rain drop that hit exposed skin. The rain drops delivered a terrible pain sensation that reminded me of little needles piercing your skin. The faster the rain and wind picked up, the more it stung. Then add some lightening and thunder and you have the perfect scenario to achieve a book busting PR! (Personal Record) Which I did! HA!
We reached our car safe and sound, laughing and in pain. My feet felt like they were covered in fire ants. As Marshall loaded the bike, I removed my shoes to find that every single toe on my foot had blisters. Because of the rain, regardless of wearing wicking socks that help NONE when you are basically running in a small stream, your skin starts to develop a prune affect. You know what I am talking about. The way your body transforms into some weird wrinkly creature when you have been in water too long. You guessed it, my feet were destroyed. The wrinkles that developed created the perfect surface for friction to wreak havoc on my little toes. (I will show pictures and my tricks for getting them healed quickly in another post.)
At the end of the day, we had fun. We laughed until we cried at the condition we were both in. Looking back, it was an epic run minus my toes and I wouldn’t change a thing. 🙂
As a bonus, we can now say at my motivational speaking events:
“We beat the storm, it did not beat us!”
Happy 4th of July!