In the rain and on the beach

Yesterday I opted for an afternoon run instead of my usual 5:30am routine. I’d like to say that I was just changing things up a bit, but the truth is that it was my 37th birthday and I just didn’t want to get up early.

The rain started just as I reached the house, so I knew I couldn’t walk Dublin until after it cleared. That left me with a decision. Do I just blow off the run entirely, or go out in the rain?

I’ve run in the rain on many occasions, so I’m pretty familiar with the consequences. It keeps your surface temperature down, so it helps a bit with fatigue. It also keeps you clean (in a way) so you don’t feel like a sweaty summer mess. Of course, it also makes your shoes heavy, and they tend to remain squishy for a day or so. This is a problem for a guy with only one pair of running shoes. Running on my birthday would mean missing the next day while my shoes dry.

But who am I kidding, really? Of course I went out there. Running in bad weather is a badge of honor for runners. Rain is good, cold is good, and cold rain is even better. (I haven’t run in the snow yet.) When you pass another runner in bad weather, there’s usually a smile and a wave involved. “Yeah, we’re out here while everyone else is hiding in their houses. We ROCK.”

My only complaint is about the time of day. An afternoon run seems like Chaos Incarnate after one gets used to a sunrise schedule. I had to wait at almost every intersection, and it took forever to cross the street. My pause time is pretty high for this one. I definitely prefer the morning, when no one seems to be awake except for other runners. Everything is smooth and simple in the morning, even if it is kind of tough to leave the bed sometimes.

After I passed through the storm… oh yeah, I forgot to mention the lightning. That didn’t start until I was a good distance from the house. That made me a little nervous at the beach… but I digress.

Once I was through it and had turned around, I decided to spice up the route a bit and leave the sidewalk for a while. I ran in the sand along the water, adding a little difficulty to the experience and getting a closer look at the gulls. If you look at my Garmin map, that’s the part where I seem to be swimming in the ocean. I guess Garmin doesn’t track the tides.

So my shoes are on the road to drying out, and I’m feeling pretty good about the whole thing. I haven’t felt very fired up about the daily routine lately because I don’t want to get up at 5am. I really needed to do something that reaffirms my commitment to the lifestyle.

Job well done, over all.