Yesterday, it was clear most of the day, but as I drove home from the coffee shop where I had been working, the storm clouds began to collect above my zip code. I knew it was supposed to rain later in the evening, but I was hoping I could squeeze in three miles while it was still dry. I tried to beat the rain, changing into my running clothes as soon as I walked into the door, but I wasn’t fast enough. During my final check of work email, I could see raindrops hitting our deck railing outside the kitchen window.
As far as my goal of 20 miles a week, I only needed five more miles and had three days to finish them. Still, I zipped up my yellow (mostly) water-resistant wind breaker and opted to run without music. Knowing my feet would get wet, I switched out my regular running shoes for my back-up pair.
Three miles, I thought to myself when I trotted out of my driveway, three miles in the rain is still just three miles.
Within the first mile, the toes of my socks were soaked, making squishing sounds inside my black Sauconys that I like alright, but not as much as my Hokas.
I remembered back to my first and only half marathon two years ago, how it rained off-and-on the duration of the race. For the first ten miles, I was wearing a Hefty Contractor bag with holes cut out on the sides for my arms. I had water-wicking socks that didn’t do much wicking after the first mile. The hardest rain started to fall around mile ten. With only three miles to go, I pulled off the bag and stuffed it in one of the garbage bins set-up next to a water station for empty paper cups. It felt triumphant. I knew I was going to make it and finishing in the rain felt like even more of an accomplishment. I tried to funnel that same sense of accomplishment as I jogged through my neighborhood.
While I was running, many of my neighbors were pulling into the subdivision, most likely getting home from work or from after school events. The rain clouds made it darker than usual – not that there’s much sunlight at 5:30 p.m. this time of year anyway. Rain continued to hit me in the face as I looked up to wave at cars that passed by, I imagined what they must have thought.
“There goes crazy Amy, running in the rain like an idiot,” but I didn’t mind. There are a few runners in my neighborhood – I think they get it. One made a point of sticking her hand out the window in the rain to give me a thumbs up.
It’s the same feeling I get when I’m in the comfort of my car and see someone running in the cold or wet or any weather. I can’t help but say out loud, “GET IT! GET IT! GET IT!” knowing they can’t hear me.
Once I was out yesterday – and wet, but still running – it wasn’t that bad. What I know about myself is that I want to be someone who doesn’t mind a little rain. I don’t necessarily want things to be easy. The whole point of this – pushing myself to get 20 miles a week and 500 words a day, even if I find myself typing at 11:24 p.m. on a Friday night, is because I want to accomplish something – I want to make something happen for myself.
Not by coincidence, I chose to run in the rain yesterday, knowing that today was the inauguration of our 45th president- a day I’ve been trying not to think about since 4:00 a.m. November 9th.
Last night, after my run, I stood under a hot shower before going to the grocery. I knew I wouldn’t be going anywhere during the day today, and wanted to stock my kitchen pantry with as much comfort as it could give me. My grocery list included ingredients for veggie omelets, avocados, honey roasted almonds, three different kinds of oranges, blueberries, Brookstone chocolate-covered pomegranates, Werther’s hard candies and a bag of bite-size Dove dark chocolates.
On the way to the grocery, Studio 360 on NPR was playing a segment on the Wizard of Oz, with Salman Rushdie talking about his love for the movie and books by Frank Baum. It was so touching that I started crying.
My first thought as I pulled into a parking space was, shit, I need to dry my eyes. My immediate next thought was, fuck it, I’m probably going to be crying a lot in public during the next four years – might as well get used to it now. The only reason I was even at the grocery after 9:30 on a Thursday night was because I didn’t want to be both sad and without chocolate today. I couldn’t help get swallowed up by how much of a stereotype I was – me #StillWithHer, crying in my car, listening to NPR, about to go buy comfort foods to get me through Trump’s inauguration. So many liberal tears, I thought.
But then – still crying – I reminded myself that I chose to run in the rain just hours before. That I was someone okay with things not being easy. And I’ve always been a crier, anyway, so there’s really no point in stopping now. I cry to get through shit – but, I also get through the shit. I’m not particularly bothered if my face is wet from tears – or from rain.