Thursday, May 26, 2011

Are These Pants Wet, or Am I Just Happy To See You: A Love Story

When I stepped outside this morning for my run, it was sprinkling rain.  I normally choose not to run in the rain, but as the alternatives were to run on the treadmill, or skip the run entirely, which I have committed not to do, I went for a run.  It was only sprinkling.

Over the first mile, it continued to sprinkle, but overall the experience was alright.  The temperature was nice.  I wasn't getting too wet.  And the run was going well.  Just after completing the second mile, I noticed that the chest of my shirt was getting damp.  I also noticed that I was having a lot of run off from my head and face.  I was surprised that this run off would cause such dampness.  But my feet remained dry, which was honestly the most important part.  The thought of turning around and heading home crossed my mind more than once, but every time it did, I remembered my commitment to running.

Between miles 2 and 3 things got really interesting.  Not only was the chest of my shirt getting wet, but the whole darn thing was soaked!  Water was still cascading off my face, but as I looked around I realized that the rain had gone from sprinkle to steady.  The shirt began to stick to my entire torso and was very uncomfortable.  The funny thing about sweat-wicking shirts, they don't work so well in the pouring rain.  I considered my next course of action carefully.  I wanted to continue to run, but was getting very uncomfortable.  I grudgingly decided to remove the shirt.  There were a few problems to consider with this action.  First, I have never run shirtless and I am not flattered by my shirtless appearance.  Second, as this was my favorite running shirt I was not about to throw it aside, so I would have to hold it for the rest of the run.  Lastly, I was very curious how my HR monitor would work when entirely saturated.

As I completed mile 3, several things began to irritate me about this run.  The rain had now soaked through my shorts making me extremely uncomfortable and downright itchy, and the rain had lubricated my earbuds enough that I was having a lot of trouble keeping them in place.  I was adjusting my shorts and headphones about every other stride.  But at least my feet were still dry!

Finally, somewhere between miles 3 and 4, it happened.  The dampness had hit my feet!  It started slowly; just sort of a wet feeling on the tops of my feet.  But within a few strides, it was all over and there was a distinct "squish" with every foot strike.  There is nothing I hate more than wet underwear and socks, except maybe opera.

When I completed mile 4,  I had a good opportunity to cut the run short.  However, it would have only saved me a half of a mile.  So I continued on.  I inadvertently landed in a couple of puddles, but at that point it didn't matter at all.  I was soaking wet.  And you want to know something?  I LOVED IT!

It was really liberating running in that rain.  I felt as though the rain had trapped me inside so often, and I had finally broken free of its tyranny!  Sure, I was wet, but so what!  I would be dry soon.  It felt great to overcome this obstacle ( albeit, a small one) and complete my scheduled run.  I cannot promise that I will feel this way every time I run in the rain, but it sure felt great today!

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