Just a mile into my run, as I run along the flight lines of the airport, the show begins. The thunder rolled and the lightening lit up the dark morning sky. I immediately started to calculate how far off was the storm. It's a little something my husband taught me... When you see a flash of lightening, count the seconds until the thunder. Divide the number of seconds by five, and that will tell you how many miles away is the storm. I always found this to be useless trivial knowledge
Just three miles into the run, the rain began. At first a sprinkle, and then quickly an all out downpour. Two nice cars stopped to ask me if I needed a ride...
Car #1: "You're gonna get wet. You need a lift home?"
Me: "Oh, thank you, but I'm gonna run it out."
Car #1: "You're dedicated. Good luck lady."
Car #2: "Want a ride?"
Me: "No thanks. It actually feels good."
Car #2: "Wow, you're crazy!"
As I slopped through the newly made puddles, I couldn't help but feel invigorated. In fact, this was the best run I've had in weeks. The summer heat, humidity and busy schedule has taken its toll on my run love. The rain was a welcome change. I couldn't help but smile and laugh as the drops pelted my face. And through it all, I kept running further and further away from home...
Like any precipitation we've had this past month, the rain was brief. In fact, it didn't even last two miles. As quickly as it rolled in, the rain ceased. The dark clouds practically disappeared in minutes. And the most gorgeous sunrise rose from the horizon. It was so beautiful that it nearly stopped me in my tracks. I wished I had my iPhone along to snap a picture to share (although it would surely have been ruined in the rain). So in moments like this, I pause to take a mental photograph... an image to store in my head, a memory that reminds me why I roll myself out of bed when most are fast asleep.
I continued into town in what now seemed to be the most perfect of mornings. I was still drenched wet. My clothes were glued to my body and my ponytail slapped back and forth. The bright sun now nearly blinding me. My shoes squashed water between my toes, but I forged ahead happier than ever to complete my 10 miles.
I started to debate the drivers' comments... "Dedicated or Crazy?" If you run long enough, one will surely get caught in a rain storm (this is not my first or worst). You will trudge through snow. The insane heat index may slow you down, but it won't scare you off. Even the hills will become your friends. Spring winds will tousle your hair, but not your spirit. You are a runner and nothing stops the run.
Just recently I realized that 'the run' has changed for me permanently. In my first few years of running, the elements of Mother Nature used to discourage me, and let's be frank... provide an excuse. I would fall into slumps where I'd go a week without a run. These are the trials of a beginning runner. Fast forward to this year, and I feel like I've really found myself. Running isn't something I do to lose weight or get fit (although that is a great byproduct). Running is not a chore or punishment. Instead, it's my sweet spot of the day. When I run, I feel alive and joyful - filled to the top with glory. It makes me appreciate all the good things that I've been blessed with in life. Running is my sanctuary... my time to find peace, renew love, and reason with the chaotic world we live in.
I don't run because I'm dedicated or crazy...
I run because simply, I LOVE THE RUN.