The Art of Racing in the Rain

I ran in the rain yesterday. I didn’t want to. I texted the B*tch and told her that it was pouring down rain, and I didn’t want to run in the rain. Sometimes it’s refreshing to run in the rain. Do you have a hat? she replied. You’re insane was my answer. Well, I’m insane, too, so at around 3 PM, I put on my rain jacket and ran for 6 miles in the rain with my dog. I ran at Shelby Farms because there are paved trails, no traffic and nice scenery. I didn’t want to be muddy AND wet. The rain was going to be a distraction in itself, so I knew traffic issues would further stress me out.

It turned out to be a fabulous decision. Don’t tell the b*tch, but she was right. It was refreshing to run in the rain. After about 30 minutes, I was a little sick of it, but, by then I’d had a few good great splits behind me – 10:39; 11:07; 10:45 – and I was encouraged by my performance. I am getting faster! Woohooo!!!! There was nobody, and I mean nobody else at the park. I had it to myself and my girl. And, what really made it fun was my girl….she was absolutely in dog heaven.

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Getting ready in my rain jacket!

Because there was nobody else in the park, I let her off-leash. She’s very well-trained, and she will come when I call her, so I knew if somebody else showed up, I could control her. I know it’s against the rules…but, hey….arrest me. She was loving it. She ran ahead of me and would speed up and race through the puddles. She’d circle back around and run with me for a minute as if to say, did you see that? She’d take off again and run through puddles. I saw her do the same thing in Bay St. Louis one Thanksgiving when the tide was out. The water was shallow, and she’d just take off running as fast as she could away from me. I’d yell, Ashok…come. She’d come racing back to me….panting…eyes wild….I’m sure there was a smile on her face.

She could have cared less that she was wet. In fact, it probably added to her fun. And, it was catching. I caught it. I felt great running my splits, and usually they are a bit of a pain. And, I don’t doubt that my attitude about them improved my performance. When I’m having fun, I feel more energized. I was even laughing at different times. I didn’t take a camera because it would have gotten wet, but I’ll include some pics here of her in Bay St. Louis that year. She had that same look on her face yesterday. It was a mini-vacation for me.

I wish I could see the world like a dog sees it. Puddles are fun to play in. She shook off in my new car when we got back. I had to laugh. She had no worries about getting the seat wet – or me – it was just what she needed to do. She smiled all the way home. I read a book called The Art of Racing in the Rain a few years back. It is one of my favorite books. The narrator is a dog, Enzo, and he belongs to a mechanic who is learning to race cars. They watch hours and hours of car racing films. So, he learns about life in the lens of learning to race in the rain…it’s not about how fast you go, but how closely you pay attention and how smart you are in reacting to the road. In the book, the dog knows that he can come back as a man if he’s smart enough in his lifetime as a dog. I actually wish I could come back as a dog. Maybe if I get smart enough as a human, I can come back as a dog. She teaches me so much more than I’ve ever taught her.

8 thoughts on “The Art of Racing in the Rain

  1. I love this. I read that book not too long ago, and when I saw the title of your blog – before I read anything else – I thought of the book. You are a wonderful writer. I can feel all your emotions as you ran those 6 miles.

    • Thanks! I really loved that book. I read another of his books but wasn’t quite as enamored with it. After reading that book, I always wonder how my dog would tell the story of our lives. I may not want to know! haha…

  2. This really speaks to me today. I’m glad that you went for the run in the rain with your girl! You have inspired me to get my sneakers on and go for it!

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