The World Through My Shoes is my look at living this incredible gift God has given us. As a busy wife, mother and daughter I relish the alone time I receive on my early morning runs. It is in the stillness of those predawn mornings where I often am inspired. Thank you for taking the time to read my words.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Run In The Rain

Darkness was broken by the headlights of my car.  The light illuminated the road ahead revealing rain falling with such force, the drops bounced back up off the pavement.  Fall in Washington State has arrived.

Pulling into a parking spot in downtown Bellingham, I notice Pat and Melissa had already arrived.  Today is Melissa’s Birthday Run.  I grab my things and jump out of the car; I place my key in a plastic bag before tucking it in my pocket.  The eaves of the old brick building provide dryness while we wait for the others.  Steady streams of water cascading off the building edges spill onto the sidewalks and down the street gutters.

With the arrival of Brad and then Kathy, we decide to head out into the warm, but very wet, weather.  No one talks of the rain, there is no reason to bring up the obvious.   Our route leaves downtown as we head to the marina.  Conversation flows, only being broken by someone occasionally yelling, “Puddle!” or “LAKE!” to which we will all dodge, jump or run around.
We head back to where we started and up ahead I see Karen and Amy waiting for us, right on cue.  Runners are always on time.  As we run through the streets, making our way to the South Bay Trail, the vendors are out beginning to set up their wares for the Farmer’s Market.  The rain has stopped, the sun does not shine.
The trail runs above the ocean, eventually winding its way down to the shore.  Below us a train rumbles by, concealed by the thick evergreen trees we are running through.  Only runners are seen on the trail today. 

Gentle rain has started to fall again.  We are now on the ocean edge.  The grey of the rain filled sky melts seamlessly into the grey of the Pacific Ocean.  A blue heron flies bringing a tiny bit of color to the drabness of the landscape.

We climb Taylor Dock and run through the oldest part of town, it’s history speaking loudly in the architecture of the buildings.  Had it been a hundred years prior and we ran these streets, I wonder if we would have been arrested due to the shorts and skirts we wore breaking some Victorian indecent exposure law.  This makes me chuckle.

The Interurban Trail greeted us with a thick canopy of branches providing a tiny relief to the rain falling.   Every square inch of me was wet, and now the mud from the trail kicked up onto my legs and shoes.   And it felt great.   There is something very peaceful about going for a run and getting the dirt from which we came caked onto your legs.  This must be why kids love mud puddles.

Reaching the turn-around point, we run toward downtown once again and the coffee shop that awaits us.  Despite dripping clothes, hats and hair we get our warm drinks and settle into a couple of tables and chairs we’ve pushed together.  Next year’s marathons are discussed; ideas are tossed in and contemplated.  With coffee cups emptied we part ways each looking forward to a hot shower.
And dreams of runs we will run in the new year.

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