a runner’s toast

Some days were just made for a great run.

There’s just nothing better than running in a warm gentle rain. When I set out, the sun was bright and the clouds were gorgeous. No distractions, no worries, no thoughts racing around my head. Bad Lisa did not even make a compulsory grumble. About one and a half miles in, the first raindrops fell; I was in heaven. At two miles, I coasted by the house in the gentle rain and saw the Husband come out with an umbrella; very often we walk a couple of miles together after a run. “Walk up the hill and meet me on my last circuit,” I shouted as I passed, intending to get a last half mile in before stopping.

I had just turned the corner for my victory lap around our neighborhood when the rain came in earnest. A neighbor, getting pelted as he ran from his car to his house, shouted a warning. I picked up my pace. The wind surged around me and I did my best time ever up the wretched hill at the far end of the subdivision. I topped the hill and lengthened my stride, and soon the Husband came into view, walking toward me with his umbrella. I scooted under cover, dripping but exultant, a feeling which lasted approximately two minutes, at which point the wind whipped the umbrella out and blasted us with bullets of rain.

“Ow, man, that hurts!” I protested, as the rain stung my bare legs and arms with raindrops the size of marbles. Suddenly it was freezing. We were hardly a hundred yards from the house, and I could see two of my sons cavorting wildly in the rain with three of their friends, all of them shirtless. Then the umbrella was flattened in front of us and I realized the marbles slamming us from all sides were actually rock-hard pellets of ice.

“Let’s get out of here,” I shouted above the din, ducking away from the spiky, flapping umbrella and making a run for it. The boys, who moments before were dancing in the rain, had all disappeared. I experienced a surge of panic until I saw them all standing in our garage, grinning like maniacs, high-fiving, and urging each other back out into the freezing greenish swirl of storm.

“There’s a tornado warning out!” they shrieked gleefully.

What do boys use for brains?

As I was saying, some days are just made for a great run. This was not one of them. But I invite you to raise your Merita Sweet Sixteen Sugar Donut for a toast: here’s to sneaking in a great run.

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