A description of the weather, yes, but the all time best excuse for skipping a run. I can’t count the number of times I have opened my eyes on a Saturday morning only to roll over again when I hear the familiar patter of rain on the roof or decided during a rainy drive home that I’d skip the run that day because, well, I’d get wet.
But if you’ve ever ignored those thoughts then you know, rain…not that big of a deal.
Like once you’re out there, and running, you’re getting wet, but…it’s really not that bad.
Wet, yes, cold, maybe, but somehow – could be due to the excuse to splash in puddles – it doesn’t seem to matter. Those runs always end up being the most memorable of all. There are dozens of track meets, cross country practices and one very, very wet half marathon that have become part of my go-to story repertoire only because they took place while hundreds of gallons were pouring down on my head.
This past week was no different.
On the drive home on Thursday the rain was pouring down, my windshield wipers were working on overdrive and I decided that running that evening didn’t need to happen. Dinner warm, dry and indoors sounded much better.
Friday and Saturday were no different. I didn’t run, and I didn’t get wet either.
But Sunday, Sunday was race day. Rain or not I would be running.
So at 6:30am Sunday morning I left the house. It was raining yes, but despite that fact, in under two hours I would be running.
“How long do you think it will take us to get completely drenched?” one runner asked his friend in front of me on the way to the starting line.
“Not very,” I said. Both men turned around, saw my already dripping hair, and started laughing.
My prediction was accurate. Before reaching the first mile marker (which I couldn’t see at all) my shirt was clinging to me and my shoes were squelching as water flowed in and out. Rain and sweat intermingled on my forehead and found its way into my eyes.
With every mile, the raindrops and hills kept coming, getting harder and harder until it didn’t really matter whether it was up or down, wet or dry. It just was. You just kept going, running, the thought of rain as a barrier left far behind, drowning somewhere in a puddle.
And you kept running. And it kept raining.
Running and raining, running and raining, running and raining.
With less than two miles to go, the rain seemed to slow, almost in response to me picking up the pace. They had to stay in balance after all.
I crossed the finish line, with my toes shriveled into prunes and my hair slicked back in an unattractive mess, but I was smiling, or grimacing is probably a better description.
The race had been, if anything, more fun, because of the rain.
So next time it’s raining, maybe just force those shoes and slip out the door before you can think better of it. You might surprise yourself, and enjoy it!