When I first started running as a beginner, waking up to the sound of rain pattering on my window was a good excuse to turn off the alarm, roll over, and fall back asleep in my warm, cozy bed. Somehow, the fear of getting wet, sloshing through puddles, and the potential for chafing deterred me from lacing up and heading out the door. Unless you’re from Seattle, you probably sympathize with me.
It wasn’t until recently that this policy changed. When looking at the weather forecast for this week, I noticed that today’s forecast (long-run Saturday) included an 80% chance of rain. There goes my long run, I thought. But as the day approached, I began to reconsider.
After doing some research, mostly through Runner’s World, I decided that getting soaked was probably the worst that could happen. And, since I usually get soaked when I take a shower and I haven’t experienced any unhealthy side effects, I decided to risk the odds.
One mile into the run, it began to sprinkle. Immediately, I freaked out. What happens if i ruin my running shoes? What happens if I catch a cold? Or worse, get a blister? Resisting the urge to turn around and head home, I continued to run. And then something weird happened.
I felt like I was flying.
The rain cooled my skin, all the drivers that passed me honked their horns (as encouragement, I’m assuming), and the world seemed at peace. Although my ponytail was a tangled mess, my clothes were sopping wet, and my shoes had a distinguished squish with each step, I was happy.
Not because I had run faster or farther than ever before, but because, as a runner, I had fulfilled the ultimate purpose of running. To push my body to its physical limits, and then continue running. Because I have something to prove. Maybe not to the world, but to myself. I am capable of so much more than I think I am. Including running in the rain.
And I didn’t even melt.