Running Through a Thunderstorm

As I pulled on my socks and running shoes a little while ago, I heard a noise and looked up. It was a deep rumbling; not a plane, but thunder. Right before I was about to leave my house to run some 400’s and 800’s at my local track. I considered my options. It was getting dark; so I either wait for the storm to pass over and run later in the dark (not that that’s such a terrible option, it’s just that I was already ready to go), or just head out now and be a human lightning rod on the very flat and empty track.

I smiled to myself and stepped out the door.

Thankfully the storm I ran through wasn't quite this bad... (Credit: Axel Rouvin, Wikipedia Commons)

As it turns out, someone out there didn’t want me to get electrocuted today. Because when I arrived at the track, some high school sports team looked like it was taking up the whole field practicing. So I made a quick about-face and instead started a 3.5 mile loop that I often run. I was pumped up by the rumbling thunder, and started out at a quick pace, so I decided I’d do a tempo run; I’d warmed up on my way to the track, and I wanted to run fast today anyway. About a mile in, the rain started. And the thunder got louder. And the lightning brighter.

It was also around this time that I began a half-mile stretch along a railroad track. I’m not sure if it’s scientifically backed, but something about running by railroads tracks in a thunderstorm doesn’t appeal to me. I’ll just say I ran that half mile pretty quickly.

It was fun to watch cars go by as I ran on, soaked and smiling, thunder booming in the background with the sky lighting up every minute or so. The drivers must have thought I was insane. But I had fun. To be fair, I was scared at times too. When the lightning bolts looked particularly bright and when the lightning was followed almost instantly by huge claps of thunder (indicating the storm was right overhead), I jumped and picked up the pace a little more.

Running in the rain, as I’ve noted before, can be a fun activity. I run fast, and feel in tune with my body when I hit the streets in a rainstorm. Today’s thunderstorm was a special treat.