Start your run in the rain. Avoid getting your feet wet. Dodge puddles. Run on the side of the path that has become a miniature Class II rapid.
But, sooner or later, you will mis-step and come down ankle deep in the creek. The other foot will plunge into a puddle you didn’t see until too late. Your feet are soaked and getting cold. But something wonderful happens; you no longer give a damn.
Splash ahead like some big-tired redneck swamp buggy. Look for “water features” to attack. Yeeee Haaaawwww.
Fierce winds arise and whip the trees. Respond by un-zipping your jacket so you can better feel the storm. Now you are getting soaked through and through. The howling gale makes you mad, quite mad. At the top of your lungs you must, you simply must roar lines from King Lear.
Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!
You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
Till you have drenched our steeples, drowned the cocks!
Snatch off your ball cap and shake out your hair, and should you happen to have a great mane of red curly hair, it’s quite a sight. Soon your big hair is drenched and flopping around in great loopy ropes.
You wonder why you are not getting cold, but if you really, really rip this run, like a cheetah, feet barely touching the ground, your body will super-heat and effortlessly fight off the chill. So you crank it up into a higher gear, rain gear, and let 'er rip.
Your loyal running companion, the Great Dog, likewise wet and ecstatic, hears your accelerated footfall and picks up her own pace. She looks especially noble today, head held high, soaked and fearless. She is two-toned, the top half sparkling gold, the bottom half, black mud.
The forest is dressed in its stark winter drab, leaves long-fallen from deciduous trees. You can see much further into woodland secrets. There’s an eagle nest in a digger pine. Been past here a hundred times and never seen it before. The mushrooms and fungus are busy with the miraculous work of transforming dead trees into rich topsoil.
Squish squish squish squish squish squish squish squish squish squish squish.
Miles disappear beneath squishing shoes.
Your tempestuous run has ended.
Back at the truck, open the door, the one away from the road and out of sight. Make yourself a little private dressing room between the door and the body of the truck. Strip off your soggy, cold clothes.
Stand there naked in the downpour; rain hitting your body and dripping off. Take a few steps away from the truck, still naked, and turn your face to the sky.
Let it all fall down on you.
OK, enough. Time to get going. You remembered to bring a towel this time. Briskly dry off. Doesn’t that feel good? If only you had brought dry clothes! Oh, you did. Ha! Snuggle into your warm, dry, scratchy sweats. Ooo la la.
Now for Miss Pooch who has been waiting patiently. Let her jump into the cab of your truck where you, with unprecedented foresight, have laid out her blanket. Using your own towel, dry her off. The towel is damp, but she doesn’t mind, it’s got your smell on it. Bend down to pick up your key, and as your head comes up, she’ll probably give you a huge lick, right across your nose. Slurp. Sputter and complain all you want. She knows you’re just pretending. Grins at you. Gratitude and love, that’s what she knows.
Slide into the drivers seat, turn on the engine, the heater, the wipers, and some rock and roll music. Hey, even the double-cupped coffee is still warm, well, kinda warm. Good enough and better than nothing.
Time now to make elaborate plans.
“Let’s go home.”
“And get some chow.”
Is running in the rain a great party, or what?