Okay, not literally faster than lighting, of course, but I am faster than the storm that was rolling in tonight even as I stepped out to put in a couple of miles. I was late home from work and have to be in bed early - I'm in the middle of a hell of a long haul of work right now and it's very draining - but decided on the subway that comfort and rest be damned, I would go ahead and put in two or three miles anyway.
Initial plan was the four-mile loop around the cemetary, up the park, and over to C-Town, but due to time constraints, I had to plan a quicker route, if I hoped to make it to the store before it closed. So I told myself, "just run up to the water fountain"; said water fountain being the one on Prospect Park West and 9th street - about two miles from my house. So I did. Not a great run, not bad. Kinda mediocre. No shin pain and that's notable. Inside calf hurt though and at first I thought it might stop the run completely, but it kinda let up if I didn't run on it weird, so I kept going. Concentrated on keeping up a nice steady pace, if not particularly fast. Steady was the key word and steady I got. I was pleased with how that part went.
Got real thirsty - the humidity was something else! - but body, lungs, thirst, and pace all took a back seat to keeping an eye on the approaching storm cell, which was quite dramatically arriving, announcing its presence with vivid lightning, very loud thunder, and all bathed in the warm yellow watercolor wash my night running glasses tint things.
By the time I'd splashed some water from the fountain on my lips and headed downhill on the easy half-mile to C-Town, the first drops were beginning to come down. Block by block, I raced the storm, which I was running toward, but I didn't let myself just go all-out; remember, I was concentrating on steady pacing. About a block before C-Town, it turned from sprinkles to actual rain and just after I stepped inside, the skies just opened up. The cashiers were all a-twitter, calling their babby-daddies on the cell phones and demanding to be picked up after work - all the while neglecting their actual job. (Bah; don't get me started.)
I stood under C-Town's entryway for perhaps two minutes while I stretched my muscles and contemplated the long, wet walk ahead of me. I got a real kick in the pants when a fellow came out and lit up a cigarette next to me. Asshole. I picked up my bags and started walking to the subway.
One block and a half. Soaked to the skin. The entry to the subway was crowded with people hoping to wait out the worst of the rain, even as the water rose and puddled around their shoes. (Drainage systems were overflowed within minutes of the start of the storm.) I shouldered my way down and just managed to get through the turnstile and onto the train before the doors closed. My dripping wet self startled many of the riders, whose countenances went from shocked to thoughtful to unhappy as they realized they, too, faced a rainy walk home. Six last blocks in the rain between the subway and my house and I couldn't have been happier. Sometimes walking in the rain is great, especially when your clothes and you needed a bath anyway.
I'll rate this run a B-. Would've got a B, but I didn't quite put in 3 miles. If I can't consistently churn out 3 miles per run - and easily at that - how am I going to start a marathon training cycle?