"...and I start to complain when there's no rain..." -No Rain, Blind Melon
I would finally get my wish on July 28th. I had planned on running maybe 4-6 miles that morning, and was up at 4:30AM to give myself plenty of time to get up and around and hit the road before work. The rumble of thunder could be heard as I walked downstairs and I was a little sad, as I tend to chicken out when there's lightning about (hey that rhymes!). I spent my usual 15-20 minutes checking email, the weather map (which showed plenty of rain cloud) and the local news and realized i hadn't heard any thunder since coming down. It was time.
I could hear the rain in the trees and it seemed like a good pour, so I quickly grabbed my running gear. I don't particularly like running in wet shirts, so after a short debate with myself I decided to go sans-shirt. This is something i wouldn't have even considered in years past, as a big fat guy who was sensitive about how disgusting I looked. I'm still relatively heavy, but after all the weight I dropped last year the idea of going outside, running no less, without a shirt was a semi-comfortable option. It was still slightly nerve wracking, but it was about 5:00AM and still nice and dark so that gave the extra push I needed to head out in just my shorts and calf sleeves.
Anyway, I threw my phone in an arm band to track my run (I am participating in a study ad need to know how far I am running) and headed out into the.... surprisingly NOT rainy weather? Damn. Apparently the trees fooled me again and I silently promised to chop each one down with a rusty hack saw for their treachery.
I headed out on the roads nonetheless, and while it was pretty humid it was a pleasant run. I was once again sad that the rain had apparently stopped before I got out there, but it was a nice comfortable pace so it eased the pain. After about a mile things would change.
The drips started in an area where I assumed they were just coming from the trees. I cursed the trees there too, for having the audacity to tease me so. As i ran though, I noticed it was starting to get a little misty. Getting better! After a few minutes I found myself in a gentle sprinkle, which brought my spirits up a lot, but again it felt like a tease. Then I heard it coming.
Getting up near the businesses at the junction of Parkview Avenue and Oakland Drive I heard this weird roaring sound from the trees to the west, and then it got louder and I realized it was coming from the roofs of the buildings across the street. "Here it comes!" I quietly gushed as I ran.
And then it hit. The weather went from gentle sprinkle to full-on downpour in about 5 seconds. The rain was nice and cool on my skin, which had gotten a little clammy from the heat and humidity. I felt a huge smile spread across my face as I let my cares go by and live in the feeling of the rain coming down on me. I was so glad I had decided to leave without a shirt. I could feel every drop as it hit me and it felt like a tiny cold massage. In a shirt you can tell you're getting rained on, but all you get is a wet, heavy shirt. Without the shirt I could feel so much more and it reminded me of the first time i had run without shoes: there was so much more of the world to experience by removing one of our protective layers and it was an incredibly freeing experience.
I must have looked like a compete lunatic to the cars that drove by. Here's this guy running in a rainstorm wearing only some shorts and what look like socks with the feet cut off (I remember being a non-runner and not getting the idea of calf sleeves) and he's got this crazy grin on his face. He must be off his nut!
It didn't take long before I realized a single problem with the joyous experience that was running in this storm: my arm band was certainly not waterproof, and if I ruined my phone because I was crazy enough to take it out in the rain I would be very sad (I essentially do everything on my phone). so rather than make the full out and back (from where I realized this), which would have been about 4 miles, I decided to take a more direct route back home.
It was about a mile back to the house, and while the smile never left my face I was slightly worried that I would ruin my expensive piece of technology. Cars continued to pass, their occupants no doubt wondering about my sanity (or lack thereof). By the time I got home I was soaked to the bone and looked like I had just gone for a swim instead of a run, but the smile was bigger than ever. My only regret was having to come in early.
Next time I won't bring my phone.