Times I listened to the 10,000 Maniacs live version of “Like the Weather” to get in the mood for this post: 5
Layers I sometimes wear when running in the winter: 4
Layers I wear when running in the summer: 1/2
[First of all, isn’t this an awesome picture? My uber-scientist/manager/DIY extraordinaire husband is looking to illustrate life, if there are any jobs available out there. Then we could move to The Islands, mon, and I could run in more predictable (hot!) weather.]
The way I view weather is the same way I feel about most other things: it should work properly. You may be surprised to note that it doesn’t.
We live in a climate that has a distinct spring, summer, fall and winter. Problem is, the seasons themselves are moody.
I have been to four college graduations in May at my nearby alma mater, and they varied between me sweating in shorts and a tank top with graduation robes on top to me in a dress and light sweater sitting on bleachers wishing I had a fur coat and balaclava.
The first week in December has been, alternately, 80 degrees when my husband’s mom and sister came to visit from England one year (they sat out on the deck and tried to soak up all available rays of sun) and calamitous ice storms another year (I was in the hospital giving birth to our daughter and trying to stay warm while the generators fed electricity to those on life support).
Our winters are not the sort that my bloggy friends describe in eastern Europe or Canada where runners are forced inside to the dreadmill. Here, we don’t get feet of snow or sheets of ice on a regular basis. The streets and sidewalks are open and fuctional, and we are not allowed to whine (much) when faced with what could be.
The other day, my running partner and I watched the same weather forecast the rest of the city watched: the one that said showers should start around noon. As I drove my son to his orthodontist appointment at 8:15, it started pouring. And it didn’t stop. At 9:30, I checked the 40-degree temperature and pelting conditions and considered my running attire: capri pants? No. Leggings? Yes. Short-sleeved shirt chosen when the sun was out? No. Windbreaker/hopeful rain slicker? Yes. Beanie hat? Sure. Sunglasses? No point.
Even though the weather guy had been wrong, the rain at least remained consistent. And it turned out to be a pretty good run. For a Monday.
Back in January, we headed out for an epic 11-miler that had all the markings of a gorgeous spring day: bright sunshine, warmer temps and all the bulb flowers poking their heads out of the ground. We headed out as innocent as little Easter bunnies, smiling at God’s benevolence.
A couple of miles in, a breeze kicked up. An unexpected breeze. We had not planned for that breeze.
And then, the optimistic skies were replaced with fat gray clouds that seemed to hover over our (admittedly uninspired) route.
Chewing my ShotBloks was like gumming wet jellybeans.
The rain was not a gentle mist, but pelting, thick drops that fell behind our sunglasses and saturated our now-squelchy shoes. When I got home, I had half a mind to throw some laundry detergent on my running tights and toss them out in the front yard. The washing machine couldn’t get them any wetter.
And don’t even get me started on early morning spring runs, when the air chills as you step outside, so you bundle up in warm layers, only to strip them off at the end of mile one.
Is weather truly the last frontier? The one thing we can’t control with apps and calendars and well-stocked handbags?
I, for one, will probably keep trying.
But after all we’ve been through, weather and I are like this. So close.
I guess you could say I’m grateful that after hours spent in climate-controlled conditions in front of a computer screen, real life and unexpected weather conditions continue to surprise me.