Run in the Rain, or don’t, it’s only the Awesomest Thing Ever

Runners are strange birds.  Not only do we enjoy an activity which most people in the world really, really hate and, in fact, avoid at every opportunity, but we find some of the most painful and most bizarre aspects of the activity to latch onto.

For example: yesterday’s run.  Nothing special about the run itself, except for the fact that it was raining.

I love running in the rain.  I love it, love it, love it.  I don’t know why.  I shouldn’t.  I stink even worse after a rain run, my shoes have to be retired for a couple days until they dry out, there’s mud, it’s cold… It’s dumb as haberdashery that I love it so much, but I can’t help it.  I love it like a fat kid loves cake.  I love it like my dog loves to run under my feet when I walk down the stairs in the morning.  I love it like my son loves the goldfinger Tigger movie, and that’s a lot, probably an unhealthy amount.

Here are just a few reasons why running in the rain is awesome.

1.  Especially in the spring and summer, it feels brilliant.  The weather’s getting warmer here in Atlanta, and before we know it, it’ll be overnight lows of 70 or better for months at a time.  That sucks.  Running in the rain is like when you were a kid and hooked up the hose to a sprinkler — or, if you didn’t have a sprinkler, you just poked a bunch of holes in the hose — and ran through that thing for hours and hours and hours.  It feels like happiness.  It feels like bottled joy being poured over your head.

2.  It makes you feel bad-Asgard.  Know what non-bad-Asgards do?  They don’t run.  Know what non-bad-Asgard runners do?  They run when it’s convenient, when it works for them, when it’s easy.  Bad-Asgard runners run when they fargoing want to run, when they need to run, when they have to run.  Long run day and it’s 90 degrees out?  You’re running.  Speedwork day and you have a brick of fettucine alfredo in your stomach from the overindulgence of a dinner you ate last night because you totally deserved it?  You’re running.  The typhoon strikes?  El Nino is upon us?  Atlanta is buried under three inches of snow (horror of horrors!)?  You’re running.  Something about running in the worst of conditions brings out the inner bad-Asgard in all of us.  Well, all of us runners.  Well, maybe just me.

3.  Sense of Accomplishment. You’ve heard runners say that “every run is a good run.”  Well, you have if you frequent running sites.  If not, now you’re hearing it.  But some runs are better than others.  The tough runs make you feel like you did when you first started running, like when you first started breaking down those barriers that you didn’t think you could break.  Running in the rain is awesome because it’s something that even a lot of runners just won’t do.  But not you.  It was nasty and gross out there and you ran anyway.  High-five.

4.  It’s Primal.  Primitive man was probably a distance-runner because he had to be to survive.  You think primitive man, running to survive, took the day off because it was raining?  Fargo no, he didn’t.  He laced up (footed up?) and threw down because if he didn’t, he’d starve.  Or the lions would eat him.  Or something.

5.  You connect with nature.  On any run, you get to breathe deeply of the great bounty of our planet’s slightly toxic atmosphere.  Feel that burning in your lungs?  That’s nature, son.  That burning in your legs?  PAIN IS WEAKNESS LEAVING THE BODY.  That burning in your eyes?  That’s god peeing on you to cool your overheated loins.  Or it’s the acid rain.  Seriously, wear a hat, that stuff burns.

6.  The looks you get.  Know that look you get when you see a monkey waddle past, juggling kitchen knives while balancing on a bowling ball?  That look that says, “what the haberdashery did I just see?  It was crazy and probably ill-advised.”  That look on your face is hilarious, and I love it, love it, love it when you make it at me as you drive past in your warm-comfy SUV and I’m plodding through puddles.  Please make it again so that I can keep laughing for another mile.  (Whether I’m laughing at you or myself depends on how far I’ve run.)

7.  Steam.  Something about the moisture in the air and the heat of your body on and after a run creates a witchcraft of chemistry, and if you look closely, you can actually see the rain evaporating off your body in wisps of pale smoke.  That’s right.  You just worked out so hard you ALMOST BURST INTO FLAMES.

8.  Just kidding, running in the rain sucks.  Seriously, why would you want to do that?  Just stay inside where it’s warm.  You can get your miles in when it dries out.  Let those other lunatics get soaked.  They look almost happy out there – they must be crazy.