Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Stillness of Running in the Rain

There is something about running in the rain that puts your mind and body in a different place. I have ran in a downpour two times in the last four day and it made me think about how awesome I felt when running in the rain. Today, it was raining while I ran and, even though it was on the flood wall with over 20,000 people in a 25 mile radius around me, I felt a lone and a sense of calmness. Raining drowns out the sound of everything to where I feel as if I am the only human being on the earth. There is no other way to get the feeling and I have come to appreciate that feeling. Everything seems smooth, right, and surreal in a way. It really is a dreamy feeling. Last Saturday was even a better example. It was a hot day and then at night the rain came and lasted all afternoon. My run was mostly on back roads with hardly any houses, just tree’s and me. The rain was light and mist was coming off the roads and from the streams and it really felt awesome. At these times, everything stands still, without a care, and it is just me running free.

During these runs in rain, I always seem to think. Today, my mind started going back to all the memories I have had during running. Not races or anything, just regular training runs and long runs. I have did over a thousand runs in my lifetime, so it is impossible to remember all of them, but there are always runs that stand out and will be forever engraved in my memory. I started thinking of two runs in particular from last summer. Both of these runs were by myself and out at Shawnee State Forest. One was hangover, I started off to what seemed a pleasant clear skied day, but a few miles into my run a storm rolled in and I was right in the middle of thunder and lightning with wind howling at the trees. That day, I ran with a quickened fear. Another run was on some single track trails and once again I wasn’t expecting rain on the run. The rain came in the middle of the run but this time it wasn’t a storm. This was a calm downpour that lifted my spirits. The run was fun and something is gratifying about finishing a run soaked to the bone.

There are many, many, many more runs that I can recall as plain as it happened. Most of them involve other people with them. One of the best stories came from a high school run on Owl Hollow Rd. A-Mart, Keith, and I came around the corner after the 1.5 mile mark and saw, at a house we had never seen anyone ever and never after this, a fat naked man getting chased by another man. It was a sight not forgiving on the eyes, but made for a great story. A lot of memories were made on those roads and even more memories are being made now in college. Great people and good times is what running is all about.

So, rainy runs and memories have filled my thoughts full of memories and flashbacks to events that aren’t so special; special to me though. It is strange the things I do remember and the things I no longer remember. I don’t know how my brain sorts out what it decides to keep. It would be nice to keep everything.

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