Rain Runs

There’s something about the rain. Something liberating, exhilarating. Something wet.

I’m proud to say I’ve done it. Done what most reasonable people would think ludicrous, and even many runners won’t do. Rain running.

A cold, pouring night, I consider my options. The treadmill for half an hour, maybe watch some television, and stay nice and comfortable and dry? Or hit the streets in the downpour, get thoroughly soaked and freezing, and probably contract pneumonia. Some stupid little voice inside my head insisted to go outside. I don’t understand why, why I would choose to sacrifice a nice run for one I would undoubtedly be uncomfortable for. But, needless to say, I did not listen to reason. I went out.

And man, did I go fast. You might think it was an effort to shorten the run, but it was something else entirely. The first couple of minutes of the run were uncomfortable, I’ll admit it. But from then on (once I couldn’t get too much wetter) all I wanted to do was run faster and faster, I felt great. I looked up at the heavens, threw my face back, and nearly gave a loud shout of exhilaration when I remembered I was in a residential area at midnight.

At points the downpour was unbelievable. I quite literally could not have been wetter had I jumped into a pool with all my running clothes on. But I barely noticed. The rain, the thunder set me free. It was emotional. (Though when the lightning started getting closer I did hurry home a bit.) This run was the beginning of many more rain runs. Not all have been as exhilarating as that first one; some have been downright uncomfortable. I also learned pretty quickly that speedwork in the rain is a no-no. Just try 400 meter repeats in an inch of water and you’ll understand. I once actually raced in the rain, a 5k. I came in second, but that was largely due to the fact that only about 10 or 15 people showed up due to, well, the rain. But even so, it was a PR, and I realized that rain energizes me. I can’t completely express it in words, but it’s almost like I draw my energy from the rain, from the fury of nature herself. Something poetic like that.

Rain runs are beautiful. They might sound stupid, and you might end up with a cold, but I really recommend them. It’s running with the elements, being a part of it all. And when you’re completely soaked at the end of a rain run, believe me, you’ll feel some serious togetherness with nature. You’ll probably also feel the somewhat irrational need to take a nice long shower to wash off all that rain.

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