I have had kind of a rough “mommy” week. As some of you already know, my youngest child has been recovering from surgery last week. The recovery has been going well, with some ups and downs here and there. But nothing too big to deal with. I was even blessed with a very much appreciated OTK session from my beloved hubby. But I still needed another outlet.
(Note: Running has always been a big part of my life. But I have backed off a bit since having children. I started back into structured training, this year, in the hopes of alleviating some of my moodiness. I get VERY crabby when I don’t get my endorphin release).
Sunday afternoon, after a particularly long day of (PMS induced) extreeeeeeeeme crabbiness, Hubby decided to push me out the door for a much needed run.
It didn’t matter to him that it was 59 degrees and a torrential downpour. He reminded me that ten years earlier, I would have been out there even if it was 20 degrees colder, and sleeting! He handed me a hat, swatted my bottom, and told me to “get out there and run!”
He also reminded me that an elite runner would not be making faces and acting uncomfortable during the run.
“Smile. Enjoy it,” he said. “Make everyone else wish they were as dedicated as you,”
“Ugh, you’re right,” I rolled my eyes, “An elite runner hides her pneumonia from the neighbors, and smiles as she wheezes,”
That got me another, much harder swat, and a grunt, as he pushed me out the door.
I set off on my four mile trek through the water logged sidewalks, leaping over puddles, and watching for cars. One neighbor did drive past, laughing, and asked if I wanted a ride. I pasted a big smile on my face, and thanked him, and told him he could check on me in a few miles.
The great thing about running in cold stinging rain, is the solitude. No one is crazy enough to join you. And you can’t get lost in emotions and thoughts like on a normal run (lest you miss a huge puddle, and find yourself swimming through the cross walk). The run is, a RUN.
Nothing else matters at that moment. You lose almost everything else around you except for the running itself. Besides watching for the occasional dip in a sidewalk, everything else is awareness based. You have nothing else to think about but the run, the elements, and how your body is reacting to all of it.
When I held my chest high and pressed out, I easily accepted the cold air into my lungs. It was so invigorating!
I pumped my arms, keeping them loose and strong.
I lifted my feet, and stretched out my legs, feeling each connection with the wet, but no longer frigid pavement.
I luxuriated in the sharp stinging sensation of the bitterly cold drops lashing at my arms through my jacket. I stripped it off, since it was not doing its job of protecting me, and I was already soaked.
And then the realization hit me.
I loved this!
I was the crazy, fun loving girl from ten years ago, with the ‘ship eating grin’ and manic giggle, running in the freezing rain- and enjoying it!
Oh, how I had missed this!
I stopped jumping over the puddles, choosing instead to slosh through them, soaking my already drenched feet.
My legs were so heavy and red from the cold rain. My long, wet pony tail kept smacking my cheek, so I learned to be careful about sudden head movement. And I did not care about any of it.
For 48-50 minutes, I was free from everything. I was just a runner. Alone on the roads. Taking pleasure where I could find it.
I let out a whoop, and tilted my head back to allow some of the rain to pool into my mouth. The exquisite taste of the pure frigid drops left me gasping, shuddering, wanting more! I spent the next mile sticking my tongue out for occasional sips, grinning and cackling like a mad woman.
I even added on two extra miles to the end. I was already drenched, and my body had somewhat acclimated, so why not?
I’m sure anyone who got a glimpse of me in my “free state” will forever be telling the tale of the crazy woman in the biker shorts, soaked from head to toe, grinning like an idiot, and tasting the rain drops, as she barreled through puddles, screaming like a banshee.
What a great run!
What a great escape!
And what a fun way to find the inner child / crazy woman that I thought had been lost so many years ago.
Thank you Hubby, for the push out the door.
And the hat.