Monday was gorgeous weather to run…but it was a resting day. Tuesday it rained all day. I took my time getting home from work, in hopes that the rain would eventually let up (or at least ease up) so that I could go for a run. Instead it just got colder. Trying to kill some time, I stopped by the store, made dinner, digested with a good book, then checked the weather again. Not better in print, but glancing out my window, it appeared to have slowed down raining enough that I would probably at least be able to get a short run in before going to bed.
Quickly, I threw on some warmish layers, strapped my foot gloves to my feet, and was out the door. Glad I grabbed a hat because the temperature felt even colder after being inside a warm apartment for a couple hours. I started running immediately to warm up. After about a mile, I ditched the old motorcycle gloves that I use to keep my hands from freezing in cold weather while running along the lake. It was supposed to be a five mile run day, but with the cold and rain I was going to be happy to make three. Three came and went and I was still running down toward North Avenue Beach. By the time I got to Castaway’s I had stowed my Spartan hat (picked up at the Double Down race put on my Muddy Monk) inside of my oversized hoodie and was heading back to dash across the foot bridge over Lake Shore Drive. More traffic was headed North than was headed South by more than double. At that time of night, it was probably more people coming from late night dinner-and-a-show type evenings than burning the midnight oil at the office, but who really knows for sure? The rain had pretty much let up completely by this point and I was enjoying the sounds of the waves as I looked South toward the city which seemed to be caught somewhere in the clouds. Mists and fog shrouded the upper levels of most of the buildings and only a few bright lights were able to pierce the dense, dreamlike, London-fog in Chicago.
From the desolation on the trail yesterday night, it seems that most others had either got their run in earlier or had decided to wait until today for a better shot at some decent weather. During the fifty-something minuets I was out running, I only saw two bikers and two other runners on the trail. People who ride motorcycles have a wave they give each other when they cross paths out on the open road. Just a subtle, low hand wave, almost like a tired bicyclist trying to make a left hand turn at a busy intersection, as the two bikers paths briefly intersect. A subtle acknowledgement that you understand what it feels like; that you may not know the other person, but you completely connect with them in this one way, in this one instant. Generally, with the high volume of runners, especially in the Chicago area, this practice would probably get tiring. On this one particular night, however, a night not really so different from many others, both runners I crossed paths with, miles apart, gave a gentle nod before continuing on their way.