Sunday, October 9, 2011

Running in the rain

As ten of us drove up to Bandera Early Saturday morning for a run in the hills, rain clouds were gathering. We definitely need the rain but running in the rain does change things up a bit.
I carried a light rain jacket and made sure my iPod was in a water tight plastic bag. Who knows, maybe it won't rain and I can listen to music. A self proclaimed "very slow runner" brought along a small bag of flour in hopes someone would place small arrows at the turns on the trail. She wasn't sure of the route and starting in the dark would further confuse her.
It was raining steadily as we approached the park but stopped when we arrived. I laid back with Liza as we were sure to make the flour arrows at every turn. This would be OK as long as the rain stayed away. The sky was clear and the starry sky was beautiful, for just a little while. Liza would run back to make sure D was Ok and still on course. I would speed up to try and reach the group (interval training!). There was enough flour to last till daylight and the rain was yet to begin. We laid a few arrows made with sticks until we were sure D would be OK.
Some of us discussed our iPod music playlists. And what songs annoyed us. Our music playlists cover many genres. This made me pull out my iPod. I listened for just a short time as it began to drizzle. The clouds were gathering and becoming thicker. Running along a ridge over one of the higher peaks, the hills in the distance were surrounded by heavy dark clouds. Tom likened the scene to volcanic peaks in Japan. I thought it looked like something in the rain forests of Central America. The wind picked up and was cool. It began to rain and it felt so good. It has been too long since we've had rain and to feel it coming down on us was heaven. On the rocky hills this was great, but as we descended onto the lower dirt trails the mud began to stick to the soles of our shoes. Tim was to say it was like running with cinder blocks strapped to your feet. This and the fact that I was still sore from the weeks squat and lunge exercises convinced me to call it quits at 25 miles. Others left earlier due to time restraints. Chris, Tom, and Tim continued for another 5 as I laid on the picnic bench under the cover of a mesquite tree with the clouds and cool wind circling around me. D showed up and shared coconut macaroons with me and Stefan who also arrived before C, T, and Ti came back.
Tom ran around the campground hoping to reach an even mile, we thought. But this time he wanted to reach his goal of 31.07 miles for the day. He came up short, 31.04.

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