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Rain pelts the ground, splashing our hot faces, rushing down the trail. Our feet keep their own rhythm. Thunder cracks nearby. I feel alive.

Our usual Tuesday night trail run started off as it always does. The fast folk pulled away before we had quite reached the trailhead.

It was hot and humid, and the skies looked threatening. We eagerly awaited the coming rain.

Two miles into our run, the heavens cracked wide open and let loose a serious downpour. Lightning. Loud cracks of thunder. After-rumbling. More lightning.

The rain came hard and fast, quickly soaking our overheated skin, turning trails into streams, bringing branches down around us.

Suddenly, we were no longer slogging through the sticky humidity. The sounds, smells, the sensations of wet drops on our skin, the potential danger - all of my senses were on alert. I felt so attuned to my surroundings, my body, my running - all infused with purpose. Happiness.

What made me feel so alive? The chance of a wayward branch cracking my skull? The impossibly close crack of thunder that caused us to shriek aloud? The sound and sensation of splashing through ankle deep water?

Some of my best runs have been in the rain - not that drizzle we get on the East coast - hard rain, with thunder and lightning, like we got in Kansas when I was growing up.

Perhaps it's nostalgia.

I want to run in the rain again.

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