The forecast this morning is calling for storms. Starting early, about an hour before I planned to go out for my 8 minute ordeal. This is day 4 of my run 8 minutes every day for 80 days challenge and already a weather dilemma. What to do?
I want to run, in the rain, in the storm. At least that is what I am telling myself. I can do anything for eight minutes, right? And I have the privilege of having the ability to have a hot shower and dry clothing after said 8 minutes. There are people living on the streets that have neither.
I want to run in the rain, in the storm, so I can have that runner swagger I used to have, back when I was running marathons pretty regularly. (Full disclosure, I am using the words “run marathons” to mean I went to the starting line and moved my body until I got to the finish line. Usually in 5 or 5 and a half hours. The US Olympic team was in no danger of my presence.)
Here in Texas, we have these weather phenomena called the Cold Front or northerner. You are running or otherwise living your life, weather surrounding you a humid and soupy 80 degrees, and then the wind whips around and instead of gently nudging you along your route, it is now coming straight from Canada, pelting you with sideways rain, and dropping the temperature to 44 degrees. Also, you are most likely wearing only a pair of shorts and a tank top, because it was 80 when you left the house.
I can’t count how many times my running buddy and I left on a humid day and came back shivering. But I loved it, afterwards. The feeling of battling the elements, and if not outright winning, at least surviving. I could go about the rest of the day, ready to tackle anything – laundry, kids’ science projects, the PTO Spring Fair, because I had conquered this run. Maybe that is what I miss about running, that “I conquered the world” feeling. And I know it’s not just me. One of the first marathon classes I taught had to face a Northerner at the end of a ten mile run. I had parked my car at their five mile point, to check on them, offer water, Powerade, and our training food of choice, the Fig Newton.They were hot, sweaty, and pretty miserable. Little did they know what misery really felt like. Once the last runner left me, I made the executive decision to go to a bagel shop and get fresh hot bagels. (This was back before carbs were evil.)
I got my paper bags and went into the campus Rec Center, where we were based, and sat in the lounge. The automatic doors kept getting stuck in the wind, cold frigid air rushed into the building. Then my runners started dragging themselves in.
As they grabbed their sweatshirts and bagels, the mood shifted. No longer wet shivering otters, they were conquerors. They faced the weather, and lived to tell about it. They in little clusters on the floor, stretching, eating bagels, and rehashing battle against wind and water.
The forecast this morning is calling for storms. I think I am going for a run.