A view from my side.
The weather has been crazy. Normally by this time of the year our temps are mid-upper 90’s, plenty of sunshine and lots of humidity. At the tail end of the Appalachian Mountain range, we get the cool moist mountain air rolling down from the range. But, we are also close enough to the coast to get the warm moist air blowing up from the coast. The result is often afternoon storms as the two air masses collide. Sometimes these storms last only 15-20 minutes. Other times, several hours. Usually, we have plenty of thunder and lightning to go with them. Yesterday was a perfect example.
Some time along mid day I got up from my desk to walk up to see a colleague. As I opened my door, I heard the tell tale sign of rain. Sure enough, a cloud burst had opened up and it was pouring. Huge, heavy rain drops, the kind that make you worry they will dent your car. It didn’t last long but it left in its wake the steaming moisture that fed the humidity levels. As that storm blew through, the Weather Channel radar told me another one was heading our way soon.
When I got home, I looked out my window to see the dark clouds rolling in. A few lightning flashes sent me to an app on my phone. As a soccer coach on fields in wide open spaces 8 months out of the year, I have learned to be very wary of lightning. Vanderbilt University has developed an app I use called Coach Smart. It provides local current temp, heat index and humidity readings based on GPS location. It also provides lightning strike info for strikes within a 6, 12, and 30 mile range. It also lets you know how long ago that strike was up to 30 minutes. It is ideal for coaching situations, as the time and location of lightning strikes are crucial to decisions on when it is safe to be on a field. But I also use it sometimes to decide if I’m going to run outside or not and when.
Yesterday a look up at the skies and a quick check on Coach Smart convinced me if I was going to run at all, it had to be inside. I had evening plans and only a two hour window in which to run. So off to the treadmill I went. I certainly don’t mind running on a treadmill and don’t think twice about it when the situation dictates. I set the incline on 2, the speed at 6.5, plugged in my audio book and sauntered on my merry way. A few minutes after I started, I saw a flash outside the window and glanced up to see a deluge of rain. The thunderstorm had arrived and I had made the right choice. It continued on for another 30-45 minutes then quit. When I left the gym and walked outside, I could have cut the air with a knife it was so thick with humidity.
I don’t mind running in the rain and have done so many times. A steady rain-run is actually kind of refreshing to me. I drop my phone into a zip lock baggie and off I go. Thunderstorms and lightning, however, are a different beast and not one I care to battle running my usual, “wide open spaces” routes. When they pop up and look like they are going to be around for a while, I have no problem Running on the Treadmill.