I woke up this morning to the sound of rain. I’ve always loved the sound of rain, especially if it means I’m tucked into my warm bed, so this was a special treat. I knew that sound meant that my long run would be delayed but I relished in it and laid cozily in bed for another hour, drifting in and out of sleep.
By the time I felt it was safe to start my run, it was nearly 11 a.m. Thankfully it was a cold rain (well, ahem, in the 50s…) so unlike most days, running at high noon wouldn’t mean extra dehydration and piling on the sunscreen. We’ve had a warm winter in San Diego – come to think of it, we haven’t had a cold winter in years, and we’re experiencing serious drought in Southern California so the rain is a welcome inconvenience.
When I left the house I actually wasn’t convinced I was going to run 10 miles. I am running the Zion Half Marathon in 2 weeks so this was my self-prescribed longest run (the last two weekends I’ve run 8.5) before the race, but even knowing that missing todays run meant missing my only key workout for this race didn’t really convince me I had to do it. Even after two miles I wasn’t sure how far I’d go.
It’s safe to say that lately I haven’t been feeling the running magic. Not to say I’m in a slump…but more of a break. I haven’t felt runner’s high since CIM training. My focus has been on strength and elsewhere, not on running fast or pushing my body to new extremes. Usually, that’s how I find runner’s high, through some awesome effort that boosts my confidence.
But today, despite a nasty headwind and steady rain starting around mile 3, I felt happier than I have during a run in a a long time. I wasn’t running my fastest – not even close – but I was running happy. Thankful to be outside breathing in the air, soaking in the rain on my skin, happy to be healthy and simply enjoying running. Runner’s high.
I also enjoyed the solitude. The normally jam-packed sidewalk lining the 101 in Encinitas was completely empty. Just a few fellow determined runners, a couple soggy looking dog walkers and a handful of ambitious surfers were my passing companions on my journey.
I’ve been consistently running for about 5 years now and my motivation and goals for running have shifted over the years, moving a bit one way, rotating 180 degrees and then heading backward. As I move away from time-related goals and the pressure of XYZ finish time, I’m learning to run more for the joy of the miles. Not every run can be like today’s, but I hope to find happiness in each and every one.
Do you run in the rain?