My daughter and I joined a running club through New York Road Runners. Every Thursday night, we trek into the city, join a group of twenty-five people, and run around Central Park.
This week, my daughter and I were driving into New York City and noticed that the thermometer read that it was 100 degrees. We looked at each other as if we were both crazy.
“How are we going to run in this heat?” my daughter asked me.
“We’ll be fine,” I said. “Are you hot now?”
“No, but we’re sitting in the air-conditioned car,” she said.
“We will be just fine….” I said.
The closer we got to Manhattan, the hotter the car was registering. By the time we got to 81st Street and Madison Avenue, the car thermometer registered 104 degrees. But, the sky was darkening and it was only six o’clock, which meant it might rain.
We got to P.S. 6 with plenty of time to spare. Our running class started at 6:15 pm. We went to up to the gymnasium and stretched out for about 15 minutes. After that, the beginner group went down one set of stairs and we went out the other set of stairs, which lead to a door outside.
We ran to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and then ran to the park. When we got there, we found out that the Black Eyed Peas were playing and the cops wouldn’t let us run. The two coaches were a little taken back. They weren’t sure what we should do. At that very moment, the sky opened and it started to pour.
“Okay let’s run back and forth in front of the Met,” one of the coaches said.
I looked at my new friend, Rochelle, who was standing next to my daughter and me. “I can’t believe I wore white today,” I said.
“Look at me,” she said. “I did too.” We both started to laugh.
The coach was egging us on to keep running. We ran for 20 minutes straight without taking a rest. It was tough in the rain but it was also an amazing experience.
The rain weighed us down. We were drenched. But, as we were running, I got this amazing feeling that I was one with myself. I just listened to the rain falling and I ran. I felt like I was in sync with nature.
At first, I really liked the sensation. But then as it rained harder, I screamed out, “This is ridiculous!” Although no one said anything, I saw a few people shake their heads.
My daughter and Rochelle stayed with me most of the way. Rochelle took off and my daughter started to run faster. I asked her to slow down, but she didn’t listen. She was about twelve feet ahead of me.
Suddenly a large limo pulled up to the curb of the Met and a camera crew got out of the car and started to film a beautiful model walking out of the car. My daughter looked at her and yelled to me, “I don’t know who that is…” I didn’t know either but I’m sure the woman getting out of the car wasn’t thrilled to hear that.
As the rain started to stop, we were finished. We walked back to the school and everyone just parted ways.
Since my daughter and I had to attend a cocktail party after that, we quickly went into the bathroom and changed. I think I used a whole container of baby powder!
Article first published as A Runner’s Diary: Running in the Rain with NY Road Runners on Blogcritics.