When you plan to squeeze your run in, in between rain showers on the Doppler, its no real surprise
when you get “caught” in the rain.
When your child gets invited for an afternoon play date……it’s the best time to sneak in a trail run! Everyone wins. Tana is happily playing with a friend and I’m gifted with a couple hours of unexpected, thus unplanned, alone time. When you live near a handful of trails, its even better because the unexpected run gets to be on a soft, tree lined, often deserted, slice of private heaven in the Metro area…….that is, unless the Doppler says its suppose to rain all day.
Nevertheless, I dress for a run, drop her off, and park at the start of the trail head. It was only in my runner / storyteller’s dream-land that I would get to say the clouds parted, the sun came out, and off I happily ran……but alas, I can not. The clouds thickened, they darkened, and it started coming down so hard I couldn’t even hear the radio.
I knew I didn’t have much wiggle room with how long it usually takes me to run this particular trail, and no one wants to be THAT parent who ‘takes advantage’ of the play date. So, I wrote a bit, checked on fb, and made a call to a friend so they could check THEIR Doppler, just in case they were getting a more optimistic forecast than I was seeing. You never know!
I took a breathe in, closed my eyes, opened them, and looked up…..it was go or no go time.
It’s always easier, and more adventurous, to get ‘caught’ in a rainstorm unexpectedly…..it’s another, and less romantic event, to start in a cold downpour. But I did. I’m a runner. I may be a non-schedule, rule breaking, no-watch-wearing runner, but its what I do and so I did it.
The pine tree umbrella worked its natural barrier and kept SOME of the downpour from making its way onto the trail. The SOME that did find the dirt of the trail had quickly mixed itself up and was making little mud puddles. I did what all rule-breaking runners do……I ran right through the middle of them!
It was glorious, silly, wet, muddy fun, that I’m glad I didn’t pass up playing in. I found it a bit ironic that you pay top dollar for the new fad, mud runs, that are often sold out, and for ridiculous prices, yet I popped out into the trail head main parking lot to a COMPLETELY EMPTY SPACE!
It was picturesque as I came into the clearing, the sun peeked its shimmering fingertips out from behind its dark cloud dress to say a bit of a hello, before I dashed back into the trees and it then waved good-bye.
The puddles splattered as I landed in them, the whole trail and I was a soppy, muddy, mess by the time I got back to my once white car. It’s not the first time my car has seen dirt. It’ll never be white again I’m sure! You know a runner and a kid live in this vehicle by the array of multi-sport, multi-toys, and multi colored socks strewn about (I even have a pair of cross country skis in there that I got at a garage sale for more outdoor winter options!). I suppose the running mileage sticker that I worked very hard for and the Get Lost in Montana sticker are a sure give-away as well 😉
I’m convinced the world would be a happier place if everyone got three gifted hours in the day where their children were happily playing, the grown-up was happily playing, and everyone’s soles were getting muddy! Afterwards, we could all re-converge. By getting muddy, we had really been getting clean, in order to give the rest, of the best of ourselves, to those we love