Yesterday, I ran six miles in the rain. When I left work in my running shorts, my co-workers said, YOU ARE NOT RUNNING IN THIS. I said, I don't know. I'm going to start out and see where it goes.
And so I did. I was, not surprisingly, the only living soul on the bike trail. Even my slithery snake friends were all holed up somewhere warm and dry. I did see a spotted salamander. He was really cute, but when I tried to take a picture, he ran away. Probably to find a nice dry spot.
When I got to work this morning, someone asked if I ended up running. I said, I did. Six wet, soggy miles. Someone else said, What sort of insane person chooses to run for six miles in the rain?! Before I could answer, someone else said, A dedicated runner.
I'm not really sure if I am a dedicated runner, but I needed that run yesterday. I spent the first half wondering what I was doing, trying not to slip on the wet pavement and leaves littering my path. I spent the second half feeling good, enjoying the water running down my face, laughing at how squishy my shoes were. I somehow managed that coveted negative split, the difficult task of pushing each mile at a faster pace (not too fast, mind you) until you finish. Knowing that a half-marathon in April (yes, I am paying someone to let me run 13.1 miles) could very well mean rainy grey weather just like yesterday, so I might as well get one steady rain run under my belt.
I finished the last mile out of breath, seeking shelter in my car where I peeled of my socks and shoes and cranked the heat, hoping to dry out my clothes a little bit. I needed that run, that crazy wet run in the rain. I loved playing in the rain as a kid, but as grownups, we don't get to do it as much. We avoid the puddles and try not to get our fancy clothes wet.
I sat in the car and mused over how well this week has gone. How the behavior problems Luke started after Tommy's hospital stay have dissipated, how happy he's been. How happy I've been, yet I didn't notice. I needed that rain to wash away the sadness I've carried around, to wring sadness out of my body like rainwater out of clothes. For once, I needed to feel a little crazy in a good way, instead of the overwhelming frustration I've been feeling for awhile now.
I guess that what I learned is that it's okay for adults to play in the rain, too. Really. Go find a few puddles. They're good for the soul.