After thumbing my nose at the rain gods for the last 4 years, San Diego was due for a big storm. It rained, thundered, and even hailed all week long with gusty winds and green skies that reminisced of my days in the midwest when I would duck and cover upon hearing the city sirens blare. The ocean had 20-foot swells and frothy chop, keeping even the bravest and most experienced of surfers away.
My swimming was restricted to the pool (when there was no lightning) and my bike to the trainer. However, my running was only restricted to the roads (as opposed to trails). I love running in the rain. If I were a racehorse, I would be a "mudder." Something about the chill and the wind and the electricity in the air makes me pick my feet up higher and toe off a little faster. When I saw that a big thunderstorm was headed for my area last night at 7:15, I grabbed Travis, my headlamp, and my running shoes, and ran out the door. It was 6:50.
Travis felt the electricity in the air too. We both pranced down the road. At times, I allowed him to pull me like a sled dog, zipping along at 6:50 min/miles. Hmmm. Could I use Travis in a race? Of course, while I was frothing at the bit and kicking up my heels, one glance down at my poor dog told a different story as he darted along with wide eyes, flat ears, and a tucked tail. At mile 2, the lightning and thunder began. He looked at me questioningly. "C'mon, Boy! We better start heading home!" The skies opened up and fat drops began to fall on us. Travis just about leaped into my arms, nearly knocking me off the sidewalk. "HEY! Cut that out!" I yelled at him. Now the poor guy didn't know who to be more afraid of: me or the storm. I agree; that is a tough one. I convinced him the best thing to was to sprint for home. Sprint we did. I sprinted in excitement, while Travis sprinted in fear. Upon reaching the front door, I praised him lavishly. I was victorious. He got lots of treats and a good toweling off.
A few years ago, I remember 2 very memorable and epic runs in pouring rain and hurricane-like gales. One was a 16-mile run on the coast, right after my divorce. The wind was so strong, I was almost blown into oncoming traffic on Hwy 101. I had a lot to sort out in my head. I ran and ran and ran, oblivious to the cold, piercing wind or drenching rain. I felt completely purged and at peace when I returned to the Java Depot in Solana Beach, where my friends awaited afterwards.
The second run in pouring rain was a 14-miler along the 56-bike path. I went with a soon-to-be romantic partner, though I will keep names and dates anonymous. Even though the skies were cloudy and the forecast called for rain, we thought it would just be a light drizzle, if anything. Afterall, this is San Diego. It started out a light drizzle and became progressively more and more a torrential downpour. At the turn-around, my white shirt was completely soaked, and my shoes were making a squelch, squelch sound with each footstep. I wasn't cold or uncomfortable, though I should have been. My legs were delightfully numb and I was delightfully giddy. Maybe it was the excitment of the storm or the electricity in the air but it was a very erotic run. It's bad enough when you run next to someone you find yourself attracted to. I think it's all the heavy breathing, panting, and gasping for air, not to mention the elevated heart rates. Afterwards, you turn to look at each other with flushed cheeks, exhausted and ready for a nap. It's waaay too similar to another more intimate physical activity.
So, yes, running in the rain is where it's at. I'm kinda hoping for rain this Sunday at the Carlsbad Half Marathon.