This past Monday, 126mm of record-breaking rain fell upon Toronto and flooded the city to a halt. During this episode, I learned an important morale about training runs which I’ll reveal to you at the end of this story.
Mondays are my group training run days with Marathon Dynamics so I headed home a bit early by taking the 5:00pm Richmond Hill GO Train. The plan was to get home, change into my running gear and I would have just enough time to drive to the group training run for 6:30.
The Unusually Slow Ride Home
As I rode the GO Train, however, I noticed that it was unusually slow and my ride was fifteen minutes longer than normal. Driving home from the station, I observed a steady downpour of rain and I questioned my motivation to make it to this training run.
With the train delay I was off my desired pace and had to rush home, get changed and dart back out to drive to the midtown meeting point. The driving was dismal as the skies darkened and my wipers strived in vain to produce some semblance of visibility. I was stuck in bumper to bumper traffic and I should have turned back home upon seeing many out-of-power traffic lights. And yet, I drove on, because we runners are a stubborn sort and we want to finish what we start.
A Disappointing Arrival
As I finally turned onto the street of the training run meeting point, my car suddenly made a grinding noise and it felt like something was dragging underneath of it. I parked, quickly scanned under my vehicle, found nothing and opted to head straight to the start point. Despite all the delays and hassle, I was proud to only be five minutes late and amongst the few hearty souls dedicated enough to make the run.
Our standing rule is that we always show up to our training runs regardless of the weather as the conditions can change at any time. However, given the forecast of lightning, the flooding, and the power outages, the weather was too severe to ignore. The training run was cancelled.
Disappointingly, I retreated to my car and inspected it again. And there it was: a flat tire on the front passenger side. Bummer. I’ve left work early to rush to drive through pouring rain for a cancelled training run and now I have a flat tire in the midst of what appears to be a terrible storm. To make matters worse, my phone is dying as I’m waiting on the line to reach CAA to call in for help. Long story short, however, my wife is able to call into CAA and I’m safely back home within an hour.
The Morale of the Story
So what’s the point of this whole story and how does it relate to running?
Well, it’s what could have been. You see, I normally take the 5:30pm Richmond Hill GO Train home. On Monday, it was that 5:30pm train which was stranded in the midst of flooding and had waters rising towards the second level of the train. Passengers were stuck on that train for over 6 hours with nowhere to go and had to be rescued by a marine unit. Thankfully, no one was hurt in the incident.
I would normally be on that 5:30pm train, but because of my training run, I was on the earlier 5:00pm one. Despite all the hassle I went through to attend a cancelled run, I was thankful that I wasn’t on that later train. So the morale of the story is quite simple:
Come hell or high water, always make it out to your training run!
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