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Puddle jumping

There are days when the thought of running in the rain makes me jump right back into bed or find the nearest treadmill. For some reason, though, this morning was a delightful exception. Maybe because I have been stalking weather.com all week, willing the raincloud in the forecast to magically turn into a sun, and so the rainy mess I woke up to this morning wasn’t a surprise. That, and I think the simple fact that it is spring makes running in the rain seem more romantic somehow.

First of all, this is day 1 of 1 of meeting my out the door in 30 minutes rule. I was out the door at 7am, rain jacket firmly in place. Temperature-wise I couldn’t have asked for better: low 40s making my one “real” rain jacket the perfect weight over a t-shirt and a pair of capri length tights. Of course the first few minutes were the toughest because I hadn’t reached that critical juncture at which I am mostly wet instead of mostly dry. That line where it’s OK to start jumping in the puddles instead of avoiding them because hell, you’re wet already, what’s a little more water?

Another thing that got me out the door was the prospect of doing my favorite route for the first time in a while. Lately my runs, unless long or on a treadmill, have all been on the same 6.3 mile loop, and I was glad to change things up. This route takes me around the Jackie O Reservoir, meaning I have to be very careful scheduling when I do this loop to avoid the tourists who insist upon walking 5 abreast the wrong direction or the people who ignore the clearly posted “no dogs no strollers no bike” rule. Today was perfect: just me, the sleeping ducks, and the puddles. The drainage system on this cinder path leaves a bit to be desired, and since it had been raining since last night, 75% of the path was covered in an inch of water. There is something viscerally satisfying about each solid splash when my foot lands. Is it a feeling of childhood? Of rebellion? Of connecting with nature?

The one bad thing about having a great rainy day run is that I realize I need to stop being a wimp and do them more often. I would never have the same feeling on a treadmill about a run. I’d feel accomplished, sure, but wouldn’t have that feeling that I’ve conquered something great. Great running stories never happen on treadmills, do they?

5.5 miles in 49:21 (8:56 min/mile)

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