A Sunshower is a meteorological phenomenon in which rain falls while the sun is shining. In many parts of the world, folklore suggests that this is a time that a clever animal, like a monkey or a jackal/fox, can get married.A friend of mine from South Africa told me about this monkey business legend several years ago. That summer, we were both lifeguards for a neighborhood swimming pool. On that particular day, dark clouds suddenly appeared over the swimming pool. Within a matter of minutes, a heavy downpour ensued despite the fact that sun remained shining. That's when he told me that back in Johannesburg, they used to say on such occasions that it was the only time in which monkeys were allowed to be married.
I thought that was a strange belief. I wondered whether DOMA had provisions covering that. Just kidding.
Fast forward to this past Tuesday night, where a group of us gathered for our regular interval workout. Because it was the last Tuesday of the month, our workout organizer, Gerald Kubiak (Team Nebraska Triathlon), called for us to do three by one mile repeats. We do these in Elmwood park.
After a two mile warm up and some running drills, we began the main set. As we ran the first mile, ominous clouds quickly approached from the north. I could tell by their size and shape that they were going to be trouble at some point, but I figured it would be much later in the evening. I was quite surprised when the clouds were directly overhead during our second mile repeat ten minutes later. Meanwhile, the sun remained shining brightly down upon us from clear skies to the southwest.
Suddenly, the clouds burst open, and a heavy downpour ensued. It was a rare sunshower.
The sunshower didn't deter us. In fact, the conditions made the run more enjoyable. The sweat, grit and drudgery of intense running were all seemingly washed away by the cooling rain. As a result, our running pace picked up. I ended up negative-splitting the three miles (5:47, 5:36, 5:26).
Running in a sunshower was a memorable -- perhaps even magical -- event that I doubt I will ever forget. Who knows, maybe the monkeys in Henry Doorly were having a memorable moment, too. The South Africans would certainly think so.
Thanks for reading and Happy Friday you cheeky monkeys.