Lightning Intervals

There aren’t too many things that I’m really afraid of.  I am not a fan of snakes (as evidenced here and here).  You could say that I have a mild terror of snakes – at least the poisonous ones.

Another thing that really makes me quite afraid is lightning.  Especially when I’m outside.  Actually, I don’t really mind lightning that much if I’m in my car or my house, although I know that lightning could hit my house, fry all my electronics and cause my house to burn down.  I’ve read that one of the safest places you can be during a lightning storm is in your vehicle as it’s grounded.  That may be an urban legend, but I like it, so I’m going with it.  When I’m outside, though, I feel like a human lightning rod.  It frightens me.  Making it worse is that I live in the “Lightning Capital of the World”…Florida.

On average, more than 1500 people get hit by lightning each year in the Sunshine State (that’s a little ironic, isn’t it).

I don’t particularly want to be one of those people.

And such, I don’t typically exercise outside during thunderstorms.

Only a week or so ago I almost did.

I had gone out for a quick Friday afternoon ride…just a quick 20 mile out & back.  As I went out, the prevailing winds picked up a little resulting in a crossing wind that was fairly challenging.  The cool thing about this particular route is that I generally always have a head-wind or cross on the way out, but a nice tail-wind on the way back in.  So…I didn’t really fret having to push hard during the first half of the ride.

As I turned around, I noticed that the sky ahead of me had turned ugly.  Dark grey.  Black almost.

The tail-wind that I expected didn’t materialize.  Winds swirled.  I heard my first rumble of thunder.

Less than a minute later, I saw my first bolt of lighting.  It was a big bolt, and seemed close.  Thunder came just a few seconds after I saw the flash.

I got a little nervous.  I picked up my speed.

What started out as an easy ride suddenly turned into a sprint.  Over the last five miles, I averaged close to 26 mph.  Lightning crashed all around me.  With each flash of lightning, adrenaline surged in my veins, pushing me harder.

I obviously didn’t get hit by lightning.  Several bolts seemed close (of course, they could have not been that close).  Almost as soon as I entered my garage, it started raining.  Monsooning.  Pouring cats and dogs.

While I likely needed to do an interval set, I sure didn’t like the motivating factor.


3 thoughts on “Lightning Intervals

  1. Sunshine State and Lightning… Quite Ironic, But I feel ya! Although, you ended up with a great workout, the motivating factor is quite scary… Glad you survived!!!

  2. Actually, a car is safer because it is NOT grounded. Lightning seeks the easiest path to ground. Rubber tires = insulation. By that measure, a thick-soled heel-striking runner should be safer than a barefoot runner. For a cyclist, a carbon frame with carbon wheels would be best. 😉

    Seriously though, I’ve been in that same situation when the weather turns. It’s always interesting racing back home!

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