Something Wicked Sweaty This Way Comes

Austin run 4My apologies to Ray Bradbury for the title of the post, but it really is perfect when you factor in the alternate definition of “wicked” in the New England vernacular.

Speaking of Mr. Bradbury, I had the honor of meeting him once at a book signing in California.  He autographed a book for me, and I’d have to check my bookshelves, but I think it was The Illustrated Man.

It was cold and raining when I woke up this morning, Modern Philosophers.  A perfect morning to stay under the covers if there ever was one.

In fact, I was texting a friend, told her about the weather, and explained that the rain was a perfect excuse to put off my morning run.

She countered with a text stating it was only water, so I really should go run.

I replied that I could melt if I got caught out in the rain.

She did not buy that argument, and moments later, I was putting on my running toga and lacing up my sneakers.

Austin run 5This was my view when I stepped out onto the front porch of The House on the Hill.

Clearly, I was on American soil, but my focus was less on Old Glory and more on the ominous storm clouds that hovered in the morning sky.

The same wind that was furiously whipping the flag added a chill that made me wonder if I should put on a heavier running toga.

Just like last Sunday, I decided to just head out and see how far I could make it before the skies parted and the rains came to wash the Earth of our sins… (Hey, it’s Sunday.  I never go to church anymore, but the Catholic School Boy buried deep inside me puts some thoughts in my head every once in a while!)

Austin run 6There were no other runners out on the road, and the few cars that were out there had their headlights on because it was so dark.

Usually, I have this sense that I can get in my run and a little rain isn’t going to kill me.  This morning, however, I had a very bad feeling about my adventure.

The rain started before I even made it to the turn onto Eastern Avenue, and the only thing that kept me going was the Deep Thought that I really didn’t want to have to do this all over again later in the day once the weather cleared.

Sure, that’s not the most inspirational reason to run, but it kept me out on the road and on target to complete run #55 in the past eleven weeks.

Austin run 3This is a live action selfie I took at about the 1.5 mile mark.  Not a bad pic considering I was moving at a pretty fast clip and dodging raindrops.

The rain would stop and start, so I was determined to just keep going and get in my 4.25 miles as planned.

Of course, the storm clouds seemed to be hovering right over the point in the road that served at my 2 mile marker.

I decided to run a little faster, and just pray that my running toga could act as a flotation devices should I get caught up in a monsoon and swept away in the ensuing flash flood.

Austin run 4This was my view at the halfway point of my run.  I was the furthest I was going to get from The House on the Hill so it made sense that the sky would choose this moment to look the most apocalyptic.

Yes, Modern Philosophers, it began to rain at this point.  The stopwatch read “23:35” so I knew I was probably going to have to endure twenty-three minutes of rain before I reached the safety of my front porch.

Maybe it’s my fear of water, maybe it’s the fact that I almost drowned twice as a child, but the idea of getting rained on for twenty-three minutes just did not sit well with me.  I kicked it into a higher gear and simply went for it.

This was definitely the hardest I have run over the past eleven weeks.  My lungs were burning, but I just kept pushing.

The rain let up, but I did not.  At this point, I was determined to see if I had a shot at beating 45:20, my best 4.25 mile time yet.

Austin run 2Don’t be scared, Modern Philosophers.  I just let out a little roar when I made it to The House on the Hill and checked my stopwatch.


A new record.

For the second consecutive Sunday, the threat of scary storm clouds pushed me to a new record time.

By comparison, it took me 46:20 to cover the same distance yesterday when it was all sun, rainbows, and unicorns out on the road.

Of course, I wished I could’ve done it three seconds faster to break 45:00, but that just shows that I am a bad ass runner who is never satisfied.

Not even when I’m busting records and not drowning in storms that would have had Noah running to the Home Depot for supplies!

Austin run 1Happy Sunday, Modern Philosophers!  I hope my story inspires you to find some way to push yourself today, to prove yourself, and to make yourself proud.

I still hate running, but I love what it does for my self-confidence.  And I do take a damn fine post-run selfie, don’t I?  Ladies. I am single…


About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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