for about 360 days per year, running is my li'l domain of freedom. for the other 5, however, i'm running because i feel as though i have to meet some training goal. at this moment, it shifts from leisure to work (and not cool self-actualizing work, either, but the dreaded domain of drudgery and constraint).
i felt like i had to go long today because the madison marathon is four weeks away and i skipped my long (and short) runs while traveling last week. unfortunately, it was about 45 degrees and raining steadily all morning. it was a very blustery day, as pooh would say, and i felt like a bear of little brain as i waddled into the rain.
i certainly didn't feel like running. completely soaked by the end of the driveway, i had to question what kind of deviant running junkie would go for a four-hour slog on a day like today?
as usual, however, my mood improved with the miles. of course, i made a few concessions to the typhoon. first, i stopped for a snickers and gatorade around mile 13. i actually used a convenience store hand-dryer to dry out a few bills for the clerk (this worked surprisingly well). second, i buried my less-than-waterproof walkman inside my shirt. i couldn't change the stations much, but at least it kept going. third, the trails were lonesome but beautiful. it was the greenest day of 2006 in minnesota and there was a hint of lilac in the air.
after a hot shower and big food, i was glad to have slogged it out. somehow, impossibly, i even got a little sunburned in the rain today. my lad returned in a similar state from a midwest rugby tournament this weekend. he rode a bus for 20 hours just to smash into other burly dudes on a muddy field in the indiana rain. i guess i could relate.
while only fools run in a rainstorm when nobody is chasing them, such fools are distinctive as well as deviant. now i can just taper (run less and less each week) until the marathon and try to avoid injury. more importantly, though, i'm all done with "have-to" running for at least the next five or six months. deviant leisure beats deviant work any day.