A trot in the drops

Sometimes, a little difference can help change things up. In my case it was a little rain. Make that a lot of rain.

Both of my runs this weekend were quite wet, despite the different locations.

I ran on Cape Cod Saturday and in Ayer on Sunday. My shoes were soaked upon returning home each time.

The tropical/rainy weather that is now gone wasn’t great for the beach while I was at the Cape, but it didn’t keep me from getting out for a morning run. And both runs this weekend were quite pleasing.

When I run at the Cape, I usually take the same route along Setucket Road in Yarmouth Port. It has a wide sidewalk and a bike lane to boot (the Pan-Mass Challenge riders used it just a week ago). Nothing special.

But on Saturday, the rain helped change things up. I left my parents’ house at 7:10 under cloudy skies and stuffy humidity. I knew my shirt would get soaked no matter what, so I left it at home. I know better.

Running in the rain or in humid weather means a soaked shirt, which usually leads to it becoming stuck to your skin and eventually, chafing. Normally the chafing doesn’t rear its ugly head until you get into the shower and sometimes it leads to bleeding. So why bother?

It always feels liberating to run shirtless anyhow. And if the midday sun isn’t going to scorch me, then it’s time to go barechested. No concern of that on Saturday. After it poured all the way down Route 495 on our drive down the day before, I knew more rain was a possibility. About three minutes into my run it was a reality.

No bid deal. It was actually kinda fun. It certainly wasn’t a cold rain, and since I only had shorts on, wet clothes were hardly a worry.

As I made my way down Setucket into Dennis, I gave a wave to a gentleman holding a mug of coffee near the entrance of his garage. “You’re gonna get caught!” he said, referring to the rain.

I just shrugged. I chose to be out running, and if I wanted to be indoors, I could have. And I could have waited out the rain, but what if it rained all day?

I ran for about 1:15, right about the time my shoes started to squeak due to their water-logged state. I even saw another runner on my way back home. It always feels good to see someone else out when conditions are adverse. Besides, staying dry is overrated.

When I got back to my parents’ house, all I needed to do was pry my shoes off and towel off my body (I already showered!) before deciding on my post-run breakfast. It took all day for my shoes to dry (I didn’t want to ruin my folks’ new dryer with my dirty, soaked shoes) but the run was well worth it. It always is.

We drove back to Ayer Saturday night (I did eventually shower, with soap this time) and I was back in a more familiar bed. Come Sunday morning, the roads were wet again, but by the time I strapped on my watch, there was no rain falling. That soon changed.

I again left my doorstep without a shirt as the rain began about three minutes into my trot. Then it stopped. The skies started to brighten.

But once I reached nearby Harvard, the sky began to open. It was a steady rain, harder than Saturday’s to be sure. Again, no big deal.

At this point, about 20 minutes in, I saw a line of cyclists coming from the other direction. The threat of rain certainly didn’t stop them. Never does in this town.

Not sure why, but just about every time I’m in Harvard – especially near the town square where the general store is – I see lots of cyclists. Either they’re passing through or stopping for water/snacks.

Anyhow, as I neared a bridge that went over Route 2, the rain started to pick up. It got harder and harder. I was about four miles from home. What to do? Keep running. What else could I do …

As I made the turn back north toward home, it was absolutely pouring. The rain was so loud, I had to keeping turning around to see if cars were coming behind me. There would be no way I could hear one unless it was right next to me.

The harder it rained, the more ridiculous it seemed to be out on such a day. But the harder it rained, the more fun it became. When I went up a hill (and there are lots of them in Harvard), rivers of just-fallen rain rushed toward me. I instinctively attempted to avoid puddles before realizing there was no way I could be more wet. Or is it wetter.

My shoes got a little heavy, but other than that, it was a blast! I actually ran with a smile of my face as the rain thundered down on me. Luckily there was no actual thunder (or lightning), but the sound of the rain was accompanied by a constant roar.

After I crossed another bridge over Route 2, I started seeing the cyclists again coming my way. As they passed (there must have been about 30, in small increments), we exchanged glances. Most of their glasses were fogged up, but no one was complaining. What else could we do? There was absolutely no shelter around and once you’re soaked, you’re soaked.

On my way past Shaker Hills Golf Course near the final mile or two of my run, the rain let up a little. But it was still quite loud. I was running up a hill and was startled by a group of six cyclists who churned past me. I couldn’t hear them until they were right next to me. They must have chuckled to themselves when they saw me jump, but no one said anything.

Finally, on my last mile, the rain slowed down. It had basically stopped once I hit my stopwatch and walked in the door of my apartment.

Towel please …..

When I look back on my rainy runs from the weekend, I can smile. It’s Monday and I’m back at work, so I’d gladly enjoy any type of run now.

It was a great way to shake things up; I haven’t run with anyone since I moved from Bozeman in December and have only raced once in that time. So anything different is a plus.

I won’t be able to run again until Wednesday at the earliest. Hopefully my shoes will be dry by then.


2 Responses to “A trot in the drops”

  1. 1 M Cunis
    September 3, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Being from Mt myself .. Are you going to run the Ashland 1/2 Marathon October 28? It starting at the “Official Start of the Boston Marathon” It will have hills and roads almost like running in Belgrade.

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