One of these days, I'll figure out how to work my phone.
The weather finally returned to normal today, but before it did, we had another cold, rainy morning. Knowing that this wasn't great for my running partner, I made sure to check my text messages and Facebook before I left the house. Finding nothing, I got in the car and headed down to the lake.
When it was a few minutes past our meeting time, I check again, and there was the text. That had been there since before I left. And somehow didn't see. Well done, me.
I figured that, since I was already there, I might as well hit the trail anyway. I was one of the few who thought so. It was still raining a little bit, but nothing like what I've been running through the last couple days. The trail was a little washed out, and there were a few acrobatic dances around standing water, but that wasn't the most striking feature of the path. What hit me most was just how empty it was.
Unless I'm there before sunrise, there's usually a pretty good crowd on the trail. Today, though, through the whole four mile run, I maybe saw fifteen other runners. We all smiled and waved at one another, acknowledging that we were the few, the proud, the absurd runners.
I found myself really wanting someone to whom I could talk, but at the same time, I enjoyed the solitude of it. It really is a strange contradiction, to at once appreciate something for yourself but also want to share it with someone else. It's the mark of a good hobby, of something to believe in. You can lose yourself in your moment, and all you want is for everyone around you to feel the same freedom. It's that feeling of finding a really great band before they're famous. You take pride in knowing something that no one else does, but you want to share this great thing with the world, too. At some point, they may become "too popular" and lose that mystique, but it shouldn't change how you feel about them. Even if everyone else is running, I can still love it.
Some day, I think I'd like to coach other runners, especially beginners. To be honest, I don't know enough about the physiology of the thing now to be of much use to anyone, but I'm always excited when someone asks me for my opinion or recommendation. I look forward to the day that I'm really part of the Austin running community. Until then, I'm happy to enjoy it for myself.
Rain or shine.
56 Degrees, generally wet