Thursday has been my long run day for a couple of years now. Having kids with busy weekend schedules and a working husband that already has dibs on Saturday long runs, I need to get my long run out of the way during the week so I can play car pool driver and sport spectator on the weekends. My favorite benefit of the Thursday long run is that it gets it out of the way, so when Saturday comes around, I know that I already have mine in the bag.
Today was Thursday and there was a 85% chance of rain starting at 8:00 a.m. My kids leave for school at 7:20. The moment they left, I turned on the Garmin, turned up the iPod and bolted out the door. I was determined to get in a few miles before the rain started coming down. The 2 mile loop around my house is perfect for days like today. Yes, it's boring, but knowing that I'm never more than 10 minutes from home makes up for it.
The air was saturated enough that the ground was wet, but for the first loop it was just foggy. During the middle of the second loop, it started to mist. I could see to the west that the air was thick with moisture and that the rain was on its way. At mile 4, it still wasn't raining. Now I was kind of disappointed. I had figured my run would be cut short by the rain so I really hadn't mentally prepared for more than 4 miles. Where was my excuse? I started out trying to beat the rain but was now was getting irritated that I wasn't going to get out of my run early. I rounded the nearby subdivision which adds another mile, and thankfully it started to precipitate a little more than a mist. I decided that this was a legitimate sprinkle. Whew! Now I could head home with no guilt. I hit the driveway right at 5 miles and was still pretty dry. Sure, 5 miles doesn't count as a long run, but it's the off season and it was raining. See, I couldn't help it!
Next Monday, November 1st, is a big day on my running calendar. The Plymouth Dome, my winter sanctuary, with it's AstroTurf track, temperature controlled atmosphere, and walkers that don't pay attention and hog the whole track will be open for the public. There is a "usual crowd" at the dome and I have to admit that I miss them. Let's face it, runners are a pretty homogeneous group compared to the general population. Walkers, however, are very diverse. They come in all ages, some walk with evidence of a battle against an injury or disease, some are very serious and some are there to socialize. They all make for great people watching and help pass the time on the little track.
So this Monday will mark my freedom from the weather man. Bring on the rain, the snow, the bitter cold winds. I'll have my hodgepodge of regulars and the dome as my back up plan. Thank you, taxpayers of Plymouth, MN. It's no wonder Money Magazine voted Plymouth the best place to live in 2008. What more could anyone want from their tax dollars than to provide me with a place to run all winter long?