We runners are resilient. No matter the weather, we are out there pounding the pavement, putting in our miles. And those of us living in Duluth are especially so. We have to be, as the seasons here hold no loyalty to the calendar. So although this is the height of the marathon training period, it’s not exactly shorts and t-shirt weather.
Mentally I planned to do my weekly long run today. Never mind the fact that tomorrow’s weather looks to be beautiful and sunny and my calendar is open, my inner control center said it had to be today. This morning. Early. Because I like to run first thing in the morning.
I awoke to what sounded like water. Was it rain? The falls on Amity Creek? Wind? Crossing my fingers, I arose to find that the rocks next to the house were dry – a good start. The rest of the word was enveloped in a heavy fog, but it was not precipitating. And my weather app said rain would not show up before noon. That was enough for me – I was going.
Fog turned out to be equal parts mist. The closer to the lake I got, the heavier it was. But it wasn’t raining. I had the proper clothing, and blessed my wind mitts as I pulled them on to keep my gloves dry. The scenery wasn’t spectacular, but there were other small compensations. The street cleaners had been out, clearing the shoulders of grit and sand on the Scenic Highway. My running and cycling personae thanked them for that. Traffic was light, and I certainly didn’t have to dodge other runners.
Doubling back to the Lakewalk, I found more company. Folks were out running and walking. Even a bike or two passed by. Greeting one another as we passed, some exchanged conspiratorial glances with me that acknowledged the craziness of our pursuits in the drippy weather. Others appeared as if it were a fine day, totally unaffected by the local conditions. Somehow my fellow damp athletes validated my choice, and I pressed on in the belief that I’d be glad I stuck to my plan.
On my return from Canal Park the weather gods took pity on me. The wind dropped and the fog lifted. The mist had dried up. It was almost decent weather. I willed my legs to keep churning, clocking off the miles and setting mental milestones in the distance. As I logged miles 19 and 20 I thought of my daughter doing her long run at the same time in the Twin Cities. My virtual running partner carried me through.
Make no mistake, when I reached our driveway, I was glad to be done. I made it back before it rained, and maintained a decent pace. I was still warm, and relatively dry. And I could check off one more long run before my race, the Minneapolis Marathon. All that despite the weather.