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.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Rain

My tires cause the puddle to spray up and over the side of my car.  Several times through the night the rain fell with such intensity the sound of it hitting the skylight woke me.  Now the rain fell in a heavy mist; the mist so thick it concealed the stoplight ahead as if it were enshrouded with an early September fog.
The roads were quiet.  I was greeted by only a handful of cars as I made my way into town.  Turning down the parkway, I look for my friends as they were running more miles than I would and I knew this road was to be a  part of their route.  A short time later, I see the glow of their reflective rain jackets as my headlights illuminated them.  I honk and wave as I drive by.
Winter’s rains had swollen the creek close to overflowing.  The rushing current gave evidence to the amount of rain which had fallen.  Two deer stand huddled at the side of the creek, blending in perfectly with the naked trees and shrubs around them.  Their stance tells me they seem chilled from the rain.

I park my car up the hill and wait for my friends on a corner of downtown.  In a short time, I see them and recognize each one by their gait.  I can tell who is in the group before I can see their faces.  Brad, Pat, Arlane, Melissa and Kathy make it up the hill and meet me where I stand.  I catch their rhythm and we disappear on to the Interurban Trail.  Already running for an hour, they are wet and miserable.  I feel guilty for having dry shoes.
We wind our way to the edge of the ocean.  A large light shines in the distance out on the ocean, its source hidden in the misty rain.  Everyone assumes it is a boat, but no one can tell for certain.  The grey of the wet mist erases the line on the horizon separating ocean from sky; the two blend perfectly.  The ocean swallows the rain and slowly lulls the ducks on it’s waves.
 No one sees the puddle until its too late, the coldness taking us by surprise and we all leap, scream and splash.  I no longer have guilt or dry shoes.  I am now wholeheartedly part of the group, my initiation complete.
The canopy of trees does little to keep us dry.  The mist collects heavily on the tree’s branches and falls in big drops as we run underneath.  Each of our hats drip rain from the brim.  We pass time talking of Melissa’s incredibly warm trip to Texas the week before.   Each of us longing for summer and looking forward to spring arriving shortly.
Kathy and I turn and head back toward the city while the others forge ahead to ensure they get their mileage.  Coming off an injury, it is the first time in weeks Kathy and I run together.  We seemingly pick up right where we left off so many weeks ago.   We talk, we laugh, we make our way down the trail. 
The only others out in these weather conditions are fellow runners.  Each one is greeted with enthusiasm, as if we all belong to secret society of hard core endurance, or of crazy – one can’t be too sure.  Although we are soaked to the bone, the only thing we look forward to is a hot shower.

We maneuver our way through the alleyways as careful as we can to avoid the rivers of rains running through them.   It is futile and we splash through the moving water.  Our watches chirp the end of another mile and we walk the remainder few feet to the car.  Finally, it is over.
These are the training runs to remember.   The building of endurance comes not only in the miles but also in the conditions.  You teach your body to run further, and your mind to endure.  The sun brings heat, the clouds bring rain and we run through it all.  We may not like it, but we always appreciate it.  There are more miles to run, and we are blessed to be able to run them.  Even in the rain.

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