Saturday, March 5, 2011

Come What May

I'm not really into 'theme' writing but, without meaning to, this week's theme seems to be heroes.

Global heroes who can run thanks to medical technology.

High school heroes who are facing challenges with incredible courage.

Today's heroes are rainy day heroes.

The story actually began yesterday morning at 9am.  I've been very fortunate to have had the last few Fridays off.  Facing a 27k run (aka a 3+ hour run), I checked the weather and had the luxury to opt for a Friday morning run.  I was gifted with comfortable temperatures, a refreshing wind and the odd raindrop to help cool me off.

My running friends didn't have that option.  This week's Saturday morning run was 22k.  The weather was ferocious.  Trust me, when an all season runner says that the weather is ferocious, it means it's really damn awful.  Pouring rain and driving wind.  Too warm for winter running clothes, too cold for spring attire.  Just awful.

With rain lashing the windows and wind shaking the house, Doug raided the closet for waterproof gear. All decked out, he ran from the house.  That's an extra 2k to the store and therefore an extra 2k back.  In minutes, he's soaked through.  Wet shoes, wet socks, wet everything.  Wet = cold.  Cold hands, cold feet, cold everything.  Total discomfort within the first few minutes.  Only 2 hours and 20 more minutes to go.

He got to the store and met up with another 20 runners.  They put up their collars, pulled down their hats and headed out into the storm.  Normally the country roads around St. Catharines are lovely, in all seasons. Vineyards, fields, forests and beautiful homes.  I ran by a red-tailed hawk yesterday.  So close I could have touched him.

Today, open country roads meant being buffeted by incessant winds.  No protection.  Just runners versus nature.

The thing about running is that it's optional.  You can always turn off the alarm, roll over and run tomorrow.  There are countless reasons for not going for a run.  There are far fewer reasons to pull on your shoes and head out into a storm.

It takes guts, strength, a healthy dose of tenacity and a wee bit of craziness to run in all weathers.

It takes a hero.

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