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.
[DAY LATER EDIT NOTES – I meant for the title of this post to read “It was a dark and stormy night.” After writing, and revising, and editing and revising a bit more, I shared the post on Facebook last night. I didn’t realize the typo in the title until this morning when I saw it in my social feed…I’m keeping it, because it kinda works.]
I ran in the rain tonight. At least, I started running in the rain. A half mile into my run, the rain turned mostly into a mist, but it was still wet and cold and the wind was blowing, and by the end of my 4.2 miles, it was dark.
It was a hard run. At the half-way mark, I was miserable. My inner dialogue was a nonstop calculation of how far I had to go. “This cul-de-sac, and then the big hill, and then the back of the neighborhood.”
I only had two miles to go, but in my head it felt like I was never going to finish. A gust of wind smacked me across the cheek and my iPod started playing the opening chords to a slow Coldplay song – which was both perfect and dispiriting. I stopped running and started walking.
It’s Sunday night and I’m one-week into this madness I’ve put in front of me for the next year. Let’s do a wrap up.
I ran again tonight. It was dark out and spitting rain most of the time. There was a steady wind blowing from the west side of our neighborhood, pushing against me whenever I was facing my subdivision’s entrance. The two layers I was wearing – a ribbed tank top under a long sleeve neon yellow running shirt – wasn’t enough to keep me warm, and my run was too short to heat me up from the inside.
I had planned on running earlier when the sun was up and the temperature was holding steady in the fifties, but work got in the way, and when I did have a block of time to spare, it was raining too much for my comfort. Then the school bus was on its way with my second grader, and there was still work to finish before his 5:30 drum lesson that my husband wasn’t going to be home in time to take or pick up.
I didn’t lace up my running shoes until 6:47 – but, I did it and will now be able to write 3.2 for the day on the wall calendar where I’m tracking my daily miles and words. It’s 11:01 p.m. I have 59 minutes if I want to get 500 words down
Tomorrow we are all back to our usual schedules. Our son will get on his bus right around the time his sister is waking up. By the time she catches her school bus, my husband will be on the road and I will be answering work emails halfway through my second cup of coffee.
Vacation is over. It’s a whole new year – the first I can remember going into with such apprehension about what’s to come. I have jumped into most years with both feet like a five year old let loose in a rain puddle. By January 1, I am almost always already armed with a list of resolutions, a new journal, a new personal planner and a sometimes even a vision board of all the things I want to pull toward me. But this year is different.