Running, Rain and Writing


Today is my day to run. Says so on my calendar. But it's raining. And cool.

And raining.

If I don't go, I'll spend all day bitching at myself for not going. So I changed my clothes, debated sleeve length (chose long, good choice), taped my knees and laced up. Then I stepped out the back door.

And almost walked back in. This was no hazy mist. This was a steady soak, strings of water falling from the sky. Sighed then straightened shoulders. I'm here now, might as well keep going. Halfway to the trail, I thought, This is nuts. You're an idiot. Go back. My feet actually faltered.

Then I thought about my husband. He ran this morning. And I thought about my scale and the number I don't like to see there. I thought about sitting all day at my computer. About the Junior Mints on my desk and how good they'll taste when I'm writing, which is what I planned to do all afternoon (instead, I spent it at the doctor's office and Target pharmacy with Son the Youngest).

I picked up my feet and started to run.

The first half mile sucked. Water soaked into my clothes and my skin. My hair clung like spiderwebs to my neck and my toes went numb with cold. But I plodded on at my 10-minute mile pace, telling myself how good that hot shower was going to feel when I got back.

I hit the trail a few minutes later, still bitching. About the puddles. About the rain biting into my skin. And cursing my husband for wanting kids, which is why I have this extra weight. No, I was not in a good mood.

After a while, though, I hit my stride. Now that my clothes were saturated, they felt good against my warm skin. Instead of avoiding the puddles, I ran through them. My feet were already soaked. My mind wandered away from my complaints and instead I listened to the soothing beat of the raindrops against the leaves and the thundering roll of the rising creek. I watched the patterns the drops made in the puddles and let my mind...go.

Lately, my writing reminds me of running in the rain. I've struggled with my fifth Ellora's Cave story. It won't do what I want. It's messy and stubborn and I want to give it up. I won't. Nora Roberts says you can't fix a blank page. How true. I know that once I have the bare bones down, I'll be able to get it to do what I want.

And I'll finally hit that groove, that zone where my fingers are moving on the keyboard in complete sync with my brain and the story flows like that creek, at a fast and furious pace.

There's no better feeling in the world. Except maybe a hot shower after a rainy run.