Over the past few days I’ve felt a bit like Chicken Little looking up at the sky and holding back the urge to scream, “The sky is falling, the sky is falling”. It’s mainly been the tree branches in the area that have been falling from the sky due to the increased wind and rain. I’ve been looking at the sky and using that as an excuse to avoid running outside. It’s a self-preservation measure. I’ve already fallen pretty good you see and I don’t want to risk falling again at least until my hand has healed.
While driving to the local YMCA to do my time indoors on the “mill”, or indoor cycle, I’ve driven past runners out in the rain. There are very few, but in the rain they trudge just as I have done winter after winter…just not today. I think back to training for my first marathon, in the winter of 2001-2002, when my husband and I ran in the rain and learned the value of that really expensive raingear. We were drenched, cold, and wondering how long the rainy winter would last. We were soon heading to the running store to purchase our raingear for running. We were so much happier runners after that and I even enjoyed running in the rain.
Today I looked outside the window and noticed green hillsides that used to be all brown. It looked a bit cool, but it wasn’t raining. Today’s training program calls for a short 3-miler. It seems silly to run indoors on the “mill” again today when there is no rain coming down. I grabbed my GPS, running wear, and headed for the hills (small ones). Though it was only 3 miles, and I was careful not to go to fast and risk falling, it sure felt good to get outdoors again. The wind was blowing so hard, at times, that I had to lean into it to keep moving. It was refreshing.
When I run outdoors, I usually try to give a greeting to everyone I pass. Even when I am wearing headphones I try to wave, or say, “hello” to everyone I meet on the trail. Running is just so much more enjoyable that way. It is always interesting to see who returns the greeting and who does not. My running friends have a few theories. Runners are the friendliest. Cyclists are pretty friendly too but you have to watch carefully for the nod or wave because they don’t have a lot of time to offer it up. Walkers are the snootiest. It does not make any sense. They aren’t out of breath and they should be the ones who have more time to receive the greeting and return the nicety. Today the walkers were grumpy, the cyclists just didn’t have the time, and the runners were too much in a hurry. I caught up to one girl who had a sore knee. Her knee was wrapped up, she admitted, as I made small talk for a minute. She was the only one who was friendly. There was an older man at the parking lot that I gave an overly cheerful, “hello” to. He did say, “Hello”, back to me but made it very clear that it was against his better judgment. I didn’t let it get me down but just wondered, as I made the final stretch back to the office, am I the only one happy to be out exercising in 2006? Run 3.6 miles (32:43)