It’s been a long, cold, wet winter. I heard today that there have only been five days of sunshine so far this entire year, and I’ve got to tell you that I’ve really been feeling it. Last year I ran outside pretty much the entire winter; but this year, well, it’s been rough.
Last night I told myself that I was going to get in a quick run before my mid-day appointment today. I prepared myself for the fact that it might be a bit rainy or gray, but told myself that I was going to get out there and run anyway. As soon as my eyes opened, I heard the sound of the rain on the roof of the house. It wasn’t a pitter patter — the rain was literally pounding the shingles as it came down in torrents. The motivation that I had felt the night before slowly slipped away. I got out of bed and began to get ready for the day but was overcome with disappointment. I knew that due to my schedule, if I didn’t get a run in this morning, I wouldn’t have another chance for several days.
As I did a few dishes and straightened the house, I maintained some optimism that perhaps the rain would let up just a bit. But as I looked out the sliding glass door, it was clear that the rain was here to stay. That’s when I felt it — a determination rising from deep within me that moved upward through my entire body. I suddenly found myself getting dressed, and I felt impassioned that rain or no rain — I was going to go running.
As I headed out the door I threw on my water-resistant jacket. I thought that perhaps it would keep me dry for at least a little while, but found that the large raindrops soaked through the thin fabric almost immediately. There was no question that I was going to get soaked, but I pressed on. And the great thing was that it wasn’t long before I started to feel my rhythm. One mile, two miles, then three. The longer I ran, the happier I felt. I started out just hoping to get through the run no matter how miserable I would be. But what I found was that the euphoric effect of running was actually stronger than the cold and wet effects of the weather. I thought about all those runs I had missed out on all winter, just because it was raining, and realized that the hardest part of running in the rain is just making myself get ready and get out the door. But even being armed with this knowledge, I know that getting out the door when it is cold and wet is HARD. So I am writing this down, for your benefit and mine — so that we can read it and remember the passion that I felt today. It may be gray, and cold and wet, but we are runners, and we will run!