The rain began as it normally does, slowly, lightly, pitter-pattering against the rear windows around midnight. The rain slowly picked up the pace, until a steady heavy rain turned the light pitter-patter in a heavy syncopated staccato. Then it got heavy, and it seemed like someone was pouring the Atlantic ocean through a sieve over the area. That was all before I went to sleep.
It was something of a surprise when I woke up 7 hours later, a good long sleep for me, to find the rain had not really let up. My wife who was up for most of that time, told me as much. The puddle that I am used to seeing in front of my apartment had in some not so small way become a tributary of the Hudson river. I looked out at this and thought to myself “I think I should wear the mudders today, and maybe hip-waders. I’m running today, I don’t care if I see Noah and his ark float by, I’m running.”
I am a rain runner, I love running in the rain. It’s fun, it’s splashing around in puddles for grown-ups. Good way to let that spoiled rotten little inner runt of mine out for a few minutes. A good workout too, you carry a fair amount of water with you, a good rain can mean carrying 8 pounds of water, much of it in yer shoes and socks, the weight makes for a much greater workload for your legs, great training tool. It gets rid of all the fair weather runners and other pedestrians who tend to not watch where they’re going.
I went out today knowing that I would be soaked for much of the scheduled hour and a half run. It made me smile.
The run began the way all runs begin, with a first step, heading north. The rain had lightened up a bit by 11 am, and it was relatively light for the first time since the rain began. It was still rain though, and before I hit the 4 minute mark I was waterlogged, at least the upper half. My sneakers remained dry enough. Water only gets through when I am careless running through the puddles, streams, lakes, rivers and other bodies of water that spring up on the paths I run on from time to time.
The run was relatively uneventful for the first 9:30. I know that because I looked at my watch at that point, and then a lake appeared where none was the day prior, directly in front of the skating rink. Being a fast thinker as well as runner, I said “Oh Crap!” and ran around the edge of the damned thing, and saluted the American flag that was still waving at the edge of lake “Oh Crap!”, and kept moving.
Then I ran into a real issue. Mud, sticks, logs, and other detritus from the hills above. The paths were strewn with all types of debris, making the run an agility test. No football player going through his motions does more dodging than I did this day, dancing around tree limbs, rocks and mud at speed.
I passed through small rivulets of water, which are never a problem, that I can do all day, no worries. I passed through not so small rivers of mud, which is more of a problem, as they are both slippery and unpredictable. Can never tell what’s going to be underneath them, and a really deep one can actually take a shoe off. That would stop me for at least 5 seconds, and annoy the re-fried beans out of me (didn’t even know I had re-fried beans in me till that thought hit me.) Then there was the rocks and tree branches. That crap can be a real hassle. I have sprained ankles running through that kind of stuff before. Twice. That would ruin the run and the day. After doing this for about 10 minutes, I decided to so something I almost never do.
After the one lap in the park, I decide to go elsewhere.
I don’t know where, but I’m going to get my zarking hour and a half run in. With the 1.9 miles in the park, and the 2.5 + miles out side of it, It’s looking like I’ll have barely 30 minutes under my belt when I finish this.
Time for a random hill run. Something I do from time to time is set out in a direction, and just see where the road takes me. Sounds like a good backup plan. I turn and run out of the park, up the steep hill on Victory Boulevard, down a few side streets and back to home sweet apartment. I never even took time to notice the actual weather conditions I was running in. I looked up.
“Oh Crap! The rain stopped! Who knew that would happen?”is what I thought to myself.
I never broke stride, but made my way back south, then west, but the pull for me is always running north. So I do. I am about the only person out on the sidewalks. I like that.
There are people driving, and I am getting some strange looks from people. I expect that. I am one of the few people who likes this stuff. Humans were meant to be out in the elements. To me it’s only water, no need for an umbrella, no need for special protection unless the clothes I’m wearing needs it, and most of what I wear doesn’t need it. So I make no special attempt to protect myself from that which I need no protection from.
I make my way down the nearly mile long hill along Manor road. There are several traffic lights along the way, but, through dumb luck, I have this thing timed perfectly, and don’t have to stop at all. I dance in a few of the puddles, just to get my feet wet. SPLOOSH SPLOOSH! I have, through dumb luck (my luck never does have much in the way of brains) managed to avoid getting my feet wet. A testament to my agility, or the luck of the dumb, or whatever. 🙂
I make the right onto Forest, and begin that uphill. Squish, squish. I am having fun now, and the rain began to fall again. I picked up the pace a bit, and as I crossed the street I began to run into pedestrians. A mother and 4 or 5 kids, and someone standing on a bus stop. Between mom and the kids there was no room on the sidewalk, so I deal with it the way any runner would, run around the obstacle. The cars coming in the other direction didn’t like it, but we had enough time and space to avoid each other, and happily did so.
I told him to shove the horn up his ass and one or 2 other things, and I believe he said something to me in return. After happily chirping Fuck off at each other, and teaching those kids some happy new words, I made my way through a river running down the hill on that part of Forest avenue. Sploosh, squish, sploosh, sploosh.
After an uneventful several minutes on a few downhill side-streets, I ran past a blind turn and across a street with a big green metal NYC garbage can laying on its side sitting right in the middle of an intersection. A few seconds before I saw it, I heard something, including a thunk and someone yelling some thing or other, then passed a guy with an old cd player, singing badly to himself. I pushed past him and called him fat and slow, because he wouldn’t give me room on the sidewalk to get by, then saw the can. He didn’t say anything back to me that I could tell.
I put 2+2 together, figured he just tossed that can into the street (guess some people just don’t like garbage cans.) So I stopped and picked the thing up and put it back where it belonged, then began again.
The rest of the run was more or less uneventful. The rain got heaviest when I was nearing the end of the run, and by the time I had finished my run, 1:33:33 after starting, the rain was again falling at a pace more reminiscent of a faucet turned on full blast.
I looked up and smiled. Good run.
That’s it from here, America. G’night.