Monday, January 25, 2010

Bad Weather = Good Running

Sunday morning I was on Mister Tristan duty, so I was unable to get in a run early. I wanted to do 10 miles, which basically consumes close to 2 hours at my leisurely pace. The bride had mentioned the day before that when she got up she was going to do a Wii Fit workout. I wanted to give that priority to her, so I kept shuffling my run plans to later in the day.

At any rate, about 12:30 pm I had my window of opportunity to get out for my run. Now, I am a morning person and strongly prefer going early if I am going—a midday run seems alien and strange to me. Plus the promised rain system was now upon us. So when I started, it was a light drizzle but slowly increased in intensity while I was out. So by the end of the run it was a steady to hard rain.

I could see it in the eyes of the passing drivers: “Are you nuts? It’s raining!” Then I’m sure that they would make some comment to their spouse or other passenger about how stupid runners are. Both of them, in their overweight and out-of-shape glory, would conclude that what I was doing was not only stupid and dangerous, but would ruin my knees (as if their obesity wasn’t ruining theirs).

I realized long ago that when the weather, by any objective standard, sucks, then I usually have a positively wonderful run. I freely admit that a large component is what I call the “smugness factor,” knowing that you’re out there and nobody else is. The feeling of accomplishment in completing a run in tough conditions is such a strong positive thing.

Sunday was no exception as I circled the Pig Farm 10 mile route, which I had not run on for several weeks. I was able to head to the east since the wind was uncharacteristically from that direction, and although I had the rain and the cold (35 F) to deal with, I had a great run. Being dressed for the weather is a big part of enjoying the run—I’ve always said that there’s really no such thing as bad weather, only weather for which you are inadequately prepared. I was wearing a wind shell with some rain resistance, tights, and a baseball cap pulled low to keep the rain off my glasses.

So I was physically comfortable, which enabled me to shrug off the “bad” conditions, and embrace the simple joy of running.

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