Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Running in the rain, and a pathetic advance

I will try not to be corny when talking about the rain.  You know, all that stuff about the many words Eskimos have for snow, and all that.  Here on the Oregon coast, we do need many words for rain, as there are many, many different kinds.  I have run in all of them.  Today, since there is no name for it, it was doing that medium-hard drizzle thing that seems hopefully drizzle-like when you step out in it, but quicky soaks you, your shoes, your fancy dog if she is unlucky enough to be with you (I have learned to leave her home - she really does not like it, so she was not out there with me today).  It has since morphed out of "drizzle" and into a perfectly honest, very hard RAIN, with a little more wind thrown in.  There should also be consideration given to temperature.  There is a vast difference between 50s (totally comfortable) and 40s (with rain, very cold).

This morning I made the strategic error of being in front of two episodes of Homeland while it was actually very lightly drizzling, which is not very wet at all.  Then, it started pouring.  I decided to wait out the pour and hope for a less wet interlude, during which I killed another 40 minutes watching Modern Family (yes, people, some days are like this).  After realizing I was not to be gifted with a little dry break, I got dressed, ate some chicken salad for fortitude, and headed out.

As is unfailingly, always the case, it sounds worse on the roof and windows than it actually feels.  If you live in a place like this, like to run, and hate treadmills, you too will be dressing in appropriate gear and heading out the door.  I have to say, now more than ever, it makes me happy to do this.  There is something incredibly cleansing in it.  I wear a liner beanie I got years ago and never used until now, underneath my trusty Portland Marathon ball cap, and wait for the sensation of a prickly, sweaty head.  Every time I go, manage it, get through it (today I crossed a line, people, and talked to myself out loud), I am better than I was before I went, physically, mentally, emotionally.

As every wet winter begins here, without fail, I am heard repeatedly to say, "Why the fuck do we continue to live here?  Isn't it time to get out?  Live somewhere normal? With sun, and snow?"  Ask anyone in this house, it is a chorus on repeat.  I try to watch my mouth.  It doesn't always work.  The chorus is exacerbated by strong winds, which I have extra bad feelings about.  But maybe this challenge of getting myself out in it, when it is neither pleasant nor easy, is one reason we are still here.  It is helping me be stronger, and requires a certain determination that frankly, you just can't exerience in a place with pleasant weather.

Now, to the pathetic advance.  The whole time I have been bald, I have been pretty self-conscious, unless I am in my house. I pretty much wear a hat everywhere.  At the pool, I got into this ridiculous routine of transitioning from my hat to the swim cap in private, and then wrapping my head in a towel in the shower and doing the transition in reverse.  Ridiculous.  I don't really mind how I look without hair, it's the concept, and the potential for having to visit the issue with others that keeps my head covered.  Anyway, yesterday I just wanted to feel my head in the air.  I was so sick of having it covered that I sucked it up and did my locker room stuff, fully exposed.  Know I am not a modest person.  I have never felt the need to cover up in the locker room, ever, until now, with my head.  So there I was.  One woman witnessed me, we chatted about the usual stuff (water pressure in the showers, hot water, etc.), and that was it.  My big psychological advance, there you have it.  I probably won't need to uncover myself while running, as by the time the weather is good enough I should have some hair.  I tell you though, fresh air on a bald head feels really, really good.


  1. We definitely have the same taste in TV and I feel the same way about getting outside (although you are far better than I to run...I only walk since my surgery). I am so proud of your advance! Truly, truly proud. I love how different people are about different things -- I actually forget I'm bald until a funny stare reminds me :) You look so gorgeous though, you should be so proud of it!! Plus, being bald totally means you're a warrior -- it's badge of courage :) I hope you take your hat off and enjoy that awesome feeling of air on a bald head (not cold air, of course). You've sure as heck earned at least that :) xo Tara

    1. Well, I am getting all my exercise in now, as I know it will be a long stretch post surgery at end of January. Just stocking up on fitness until I have to stop! I have really enjoyed your blog, Tara, and though I of course wish this on no one we seem to be on a similar schedule and it is strangely nice to think of you on it with me. That said, repeat, I wish this was not happening to you!

  2. Oh I SO relate to your strategizing on when the drizzle is the lightest. As I'm on break right now, such deliberation can schedule my day. "Hmm... it's not raining NOW, but there are big, black clouds over there. There's a strong wind, though, so they'll probably blow over...". It's not avoidance, either; it's just a desire to get out when I can see as well as possible (without windshield wipers on my glasses). You're also right about rain sounding much more serious on a skylight or metal roof; I'm often daunted by that, only to find that the actually precipitation isn't hard at all.

    On another note, I've been recalling my recovery from retinal reattachment surgery, five years ago, and considering your recent post on how you were feeling so lazy. After I had that surgery, I slept 18-20 hours a day for several days, then required a great deal more rest than I usually do for a couple of months. I was astonished at how such a proportionally small part of me required so much rest to heal. I noticed the same with Zip, when he broke his leg a couple years ago: he's usually such an active beast, and he slept most of the time. My recovery, and Zip's, were both fairly minor, whereas your body is working on healing on a greater level; no wonder you're often tired! I think it's a good time of year to rest and recover for all of us, and the darkness abets it.

    It's not raining , and blue sky even flirts between clouds -- time to run! Enjoy your own run!