Many of us enjoy listening to the gentle rhythm of rain falling on a roof top.
In fact, I discovered an app that replicates the sound of rain on a variety of surfaces such as forest foliage, a porch roof and puddles meant to induce sleep.
What? Induce sleep?
The reason I am lying awake at 5 a.m. is because of the sound of rain, cascading onto our roof and slamming against the bedroom window like it was being thrown from a bucket by a burly fireman desperate to extinguish Hades.
I know I'll be out in that rain for my Saturday long run in less than two hours, which is all the more reason I am annoyed about being robbed of precious, energy-fuelling sleep.
It's not the thought of being out in the rain itself that tightens the warmth of my bed like a vice around my body.
Running in Victoria requires running through vertical mist from time to time - it's the sideways wind that mocks one's ability to keep a ball cap on your head to shield spectacled eyes from the downpour so you can watch for uneven sidewalks, for puddles that swallow your leg to mid-calf and for Goretex-clad pedestrians who stare in disbelief at the idiot runners even as they lower their umbrellas to eye-gouging height.
This morning's run is critical. While my buddies will run 14K in preparation for the Goodlife Fitness Victoria half-marathon in two weeks, I want to run at least 17K to compensate for the lack of recent long runs due to being sidelined by an IT band injury.
Fully prepared by sessions of physiotherapy, daily stretching, and a new regime of TRX bootcamp to strengthen my glutes and core, I am ready to test myself with a distance that more closely resembles the 21.1 K of a half marathon rather than an extended 10K.
I am not going to let a heavy rainfall warning stop me (although I did finally tell a coworker who kept emailing me storm warning updates throughout the day on Friday to cease and desist).
I meet the crew of hardy runners in the Oak Bay Marina parking lot and we set out, bending ourselves into the wind as if we were standing on the outside deck of BC Ferries while sticking our head under a garden hose.
After you're wet, you're wet - so as long as you can find a route where you aren't getting blasted by the wind, and keep a positive attitude, running in the rain is bearable.
But does rain affect performance? Is this something else I have to factor into my pacing as I balance injury recovery with pushing my limits?
Researchers at Nihon Fukushi University in Japan tested the energy metabolism of running in wet, cold conditions using a climatic chamber.
They could have just come to Victoria; nonetheless, they tested seven men who ran on a treadmill for 30 minutes in conditions to simulate 5C and 40 mm/h of rain. Among the measurements were expired air, perceived effort, heart rate and oxygen consumption.
The results in a nutshell found that running in the rain requires more energy. And that was for a 24-year-old male in the prime of his health, which is like comparing a young green shoot coming out of the ground to a harvested, drying husk like myself.
But I have something many young people don't - the well-earned patina of overcoming injuries and persevering, of facing my own mortality and embracing the good health that too many take for granted. Especially the young.
It's an attitude that I need to draw on, one more damn time. My leg failed me three kilometres into the run. I stubbornly kept going, at first in denial thinking the painful ache would dissipate, and later because I figured the damage was done and I was too proud to accept a ride back to the marina parking lot.
It's two weeks until race day. I can't imagine not being at the start line. My head is there, my heart is there, I just have to figure out how to drag my body there.