Tag Archives: running in the rain

No Geminids For You

I ran this morning, and it was gorgeous.

But it bloody well shouldn’t have been. It’s the middle of December, for goodness’ sake. When I go out for a 5 AM run, I should be reaching for the tights (yes, male runners can wear tights, shut up), gloves and hat, not for the sleeveless tee and lightweight shorts. The temperature was in the mid 60s with just a hint of rain in the air; in fact, I got spritzed by a delightful little sprinkle here and there throughout the jaunt.

Ideal running weather, in other words. Winter runs shouldn’t be so gorgeous. You run through the winter so that you can lament the balmy, breezy runs of the fall. You run through the winter to build up your stamina so that when spring rolls around you can pull off the chocks and blow your old records away. You run through the winter so that you can feel a measure of thankfulness for the runs you endured in the ninety-degree days and eighty-degree nights of summer.

You run in the winter, in other words, to suffer, goldfinger it, not to breezily traipse through a leisurely three miles and return home, having hardly broken a sweat.

I’d say that the weather is all out of whack, but, given as I live just outside Atlanta, it would seem that the weather is functioning exactly as intended. Next week we’ll no doubt see ice on our front lawns, to be followed by another record-breaking heatwave. January will probably start off with a rain of toads and a plague of locusts before simmering down to a balmy forty degree average or so.

But when I said the weather this morning was gorgeous, that was a lie. I was hoping for a clear sky. Why? Well…

A photographer looks at the sky at night to see the annual Geminid meteor shower on the Elva Hill, in Maira Valley, near Cuneo, northern Italy on December 12, 2015.

It seems to be a function of the lovely and totally predictable and well-behaved Atlanta weather that I be deprived of witnessing any astronomical points of interest this year. A few months ago, the Supermoon was in town, and I missed it thanks to a blanket of unproductive cloud cover. About a season earlier, there was a meteor shower that I missed for the same reason. This week, the Geminid meteor shower is in full display… apparently. Of course, I wouldn’t know, because once again, there’s a sheet of clouds lying low over the entire area keeping me from seeing a damn thing.

With that luck firmly in place, during the total solar eclipse in 2017, here in Atlanta, we’ll miss it thanks to a patch of cloud that passes over right around noon.

It’ll probably still be a gorgeous day for a run.

Saving the World, One Box Turtle at a Time

Rain swept in this morning like unkempt cousins from out of state staying at your place for the weekend. A real gullywasher, filling creeks and overflowing gutters and battering the streets like a particularly nasty Evander Holyfield combination.

And it was a run day.

I’m past the point of rationality with my runs: I love running so much that not only is rain not a deterrent; in the right season it’s actually an incentive. Short of active lightning or sub-freezing temperatures, I’m more than happy to lace up in the wind and rain and take a beating from the elements. Makes me feel alive.

Apparently, I wasn’t the only one lunatic enough to be out in the squall, though.

I was running my regular route around the mall, picking my path among the parking spaces out back of the J.C. Penney’s, when I ran into a four-legged friend. A little box turtle, about the size of a a half-cantaloupe, parked in the middle of the second clockwise lane with his tiny little neck craning skyward as if drinking in the bounty of the heavens. In a prime run-me-over location.

Luckily, it was three hours before the mall opens for business, so I stumbled upon him first. Knowing that the average motorist around our mall pays about as much attention to his surroundings as a ravenous dog on a bone pays to the color of the wallpaper, it was obvious that I had to get the little monster out of there. So I padded over to his little orange shell and scooped him up — he withdrew head, legs, and tail with a tiny, perturbed hiss; I’m sure he thought he was about to become lunch for some gigantic predator — and spirited him away across the parking lot toward the woods from whence he must have come. (I would have taken a picture, naturally, but seeing as the rain was falling like Donald Trump’s credibility with women, I didn’t bring the phone with me.)

Plopping him down in the mud just on the other side of the chink in the fence, I resumed my run — sorry, my rain-frolic — and put in a few more laps around our local consumer mecca. On the next pass, he was still where I had left him. Obviously, he was a bit shell shocked (I am SOOO sorry, I regret it instantly). But by the time I circled back again, he was gone, leaving only a tiny mud puddle in his wake.

I’m not the kind of guy to call something like this anything more than a happy coincidence. Still, it felt good to know that I probably saved the little guy’s life. But one has to wonder: what the hell was he doing in the middle of the parking lot anyway? Was he turning his back on his small-town turtle existence and trying to make a go of it in the city? Was he tired of it all and looking for a one-way ticket to turtle heaven (and I ruined it)? Or maybe he was looking for me, trying to send me (perhaps through turtle telepathy) the message that me running was my best way of saving the world, one adorable little box turtle at a time?

Yeah, probably just a coincidence.

Still: a good run.

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.

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