I set out for the long run. Sure, it’s icy, windy and raining. But I’m a runner. Suffering is what we do.
I run along the jesus etc. course. It’s a bit eerie dodging puddles on the yawning three lanes of nothing. Nobody else is out except the occasional Selena pilgrimages. Families jump out, snap a photo and dive back into the car. Because, well, it’s Selena, but well, it’s icky out. A gull bombs me with a pack of sunflower seeds. I’m almost sure i’m not making that up. And I run. It feels fine. The legs are tired from yesterday and my head isn’t really into it, but it’s ok.
The rain gets worse. It gets colder. The wind picks up. I’m hating life. I consider quitting. And then i see him.
Coming the other direction is Don Winkley, the legendary ultrarunner who lives here. He’s out in the downpour, moving along at that i could do this all day and I just might pace. He was one of my heroes when i first got into ultras. A true nutcase. Trans-Tennessee, Trans-America, Trans-Australia, Trans-Gaulle. Put a trans before it and he was there. And now he’s here. Rain? Rain stops sissies. Shivering in the rain, I am instantly inspired.
I know what i must do.
I run back to the car, turn on the heater and drive home. Mo gives me a dry shirt and the jeez louise you’re weird look. I crawl under the comforter and take a long nap.
The hallmark movie based on this story likely will have a different ending.