When I left the house this morning, the air outside was misty, the ground was wet, the leaves were everywhere. I set off down the road and wondered where my feet would take me. I was grateful to be well enough to run, but I still looked down at my ankle for the entire first mile. I watched my sneakers hit the ground and only winced once, when I hit a crack in the road. After that, I felt steady and started to look around. It was a beautiful Fall morning!
I was wearing the Lulu pants with the DWR (Durable Water Protective) front that I mentioned in yesterday’s post, but I wondered if I should have worn regular tights, since it wasn’t raining all that much. I pondered that for a little while, but also thought I made a good choice with my Dash Long Sleeve and my run vest. My black, 1/2 size too small Mizunos were the shoes of the day, since I figured it would be a short run (and I didn’t want to get my new sneakers all wet).
I was feeling good and decided to run my favorite loop, which is mostly on side roads. I had to be careful to avoid the broken pavement in places, and when cars looked like they weren’t slowing down, I just jumped onto the grass to the left of the street. There was a lot of maneuvering and careful foot placement, so I just walked in those moments; better safe than sorry.
At about mile 2 I started to have fun and quit worrying about the sprain. It noticed that the rain had picked up and I was glad that I had chosen the right pants. Little beads of water sat on the top of the fabric. I had taken off my glasses by now, because the beads were making it hard to see, and I readjusted my headband to cover more of my ears.
It started to pour. I kept thinking, over and over, that I should have brought the Flip. It was coming down hard, and huge drops of water were falling from my eyebrows. I started laughing out loud. Cars drove by and I imagined the people in their warm, dry cars making comments about the crazy running lady with the big smile on her face. I didn’t care. I was in the mode.
The rain came down even harder. I saw a runner, up ahead, and I recognized her immediately; the fast lady who never smiles. I’ve been running past her for 4 years and she’s never even cracked one, not even a wave. I’m pretty sure the fast lady and I are about the same age, but besides her speed, I always notice what she’s wearing. This morning she was in her Outer Banks pale pink old school sweatshirt, regular sweatpants, and a big fleecy headband (she looked soaked). Running fashion is clearly not her thing, but it doesn’t hinder her performance. I usually wonder (while she’s flying by me) if she thinks, look at that girl in her fancy running clothes! I wonder if she thinks I’m less of a runner because I care about what I look like (and feel like) while pounding the pavement?
In the pouring rain with sheets coming down sideways, I raised my right hand to say, “Good Morning,” as I always do. And it happened! She actually raised her hand and said, “Good Morning,” right back. She was smiling too. I felt so happy.
I kept thinking about the Flip, so I decided to forgo the last half mile of my loop (by now I’d run about 4 1/2) and ran home to get it. Hopefully the girls would be upstairs so I could grab it and head back out. No such luck, but I was still in and out in a flash. I tried to film a bit, but by now the rain had let up and I didn’t get anything great. I circled up the road and then back home.
Usually after a run, I sit to map, take of my shoes, roll down my pants (can you say plumber?), and drink some water. I was so soaked that instead, I ran upstairs, peeled out of the wet clothes and jumped in a hot shower.
I realized, as I stood there in the warmth, how lucky I am. I was able to run without pain and found joy on a wet (and some would say, “miserable,”) morning. The fast lady found joy too. I could tell. I wonder if she’ll ever smile at me again?