Last Sunday it was just supposed to be light rain, but it fell pretty hard. This time it was supposed to be heavy so I figured it would be light. But when the 6:00 alarm went off I was wrong, and it was pouring. Thirty minutes later, I was soaked at the end of the driveway. Man, was it fun. And not just for me, but for this one other guy.
The trail I run on was formerly a railroad bed that was paved over and made into a 40-mile long and skinny park. Paralleling the trail is a "horse path" that is more rugged, less flat, rutted, rocky and overgrown. It's a good change of pace when your legs are tired from the hard pavement, but it's more stressful because you have to watch every step carefully. And, on a day like this one it was guaranteed to be a river connected by soggy grass and puddles of uncertain depth. With my marathon just four weeks away, I really didn't want to risk a twisted ankle.
Weather conditions like these scare off all but a few fervent exercisers. In about an hour I had seen only a few bicycle commuters and just one other runner. He passed me going the opposite direction as I went out and in the reverse on the way back. I was safely on the hardpack and he was giddily on the soft. He bounded through the deepest puddles without cracking a smile, but I could tell he was absolutely enjoying it. Every step created a huge splash. He just pounded away as if it was the only sensible thing to do on a day like this. His shoes might have been ruined, his socks muddy and sopping. But he just kept going right on down the road. Cool.
I hope he didn't fall later on, but maybe that would have been okay with him, too, because maybe he would have made a bigger splash.