People give me funny stares when I say that I enjoy running in the rain. They probably think I am so obsessed with running that I risk getting a cold or succumbing to pneumonia. Actually, I don’t think the two (running the rain and getting sick) are related. You get a cold because you are exposed to the virus. It may be argued that getting wet reduces your immune system, but getting wet alone is insufficient to get sick—you still need to get hit with the virus.
Now yes, when it rains there are more people getting sick but that’s because people will choose stay indoors more, and indoors is where infectious diseases spread because of increased contact between individuals, less ventilation, and the fact that bacteria and viruses like wet, moist surroundings. On a bright sunny day everybody goes outdoors, where it is warm and dry, where there is obviously more space, better ventilation, less physical contact with large numbers of other individuals.
Anyway, back to running in the rain. I enjoy it because it’s cool and refreshing. The air feels pure. I can run even if it is 10 in the morning. As long as I’m dressed appropriately, it’s easier to run when it’s cool than when it’s hot. There are outfits anyway that wick the water away. My other essential piece of clothing is a cap with a brim that protects my eyes and face from the rain—it’s hard to run in a downpour where you have to squint to protect your eyes from the rain. When it rains, the runs are almost effortless; under a scorching sun, the heat and humidity are energy leeches. And running in the rain reminds me of my younger days when I used to play in the rain, and, with the mud and the sludge, you feel tougher that you braved and conquered the elements. I really don’t mind if my shoes are soggy or if I feel the water seep inside. The best feeling is that I accepted no excuse to go outside and pound the pavement.
So who cares if it’s a downpour? Unless, of course, it’s a thunderstorm. Or a rehash of Ondoy . . .