Júlíana Björnsdóttir's picture

It seems to be an unwritten rule that in autumn, cold and flu make a special effort to visit, whether we like it or not.

More often than not, I find myself a victim of a head cold this time of year.

This year however, I have already had a cold for a while and have begun to refer to it as my Runner’s Race cold. The reason I do so is simply because I got it a mere few days before the half-marathon in the Reykjavík Marathon.

The only upside to this particular (and self-diagnosed) cold is that I am less likely to catch the horrid autumn cold, or so I’ve convinced myself. However, this does not apply to my loved ones, and in these very written words, my partner is sick in bed with a cold and sore throat.

At my place of work, quite a few my colleagues have had partners or children sick at home, or fallen prey to the cold themselves. People are down for a bit longer than usual and for once, I am grateful for my Runner’s Race cold.

This surprises me because this autumn has been particularly warm in my opinion. Therefore, I would have expected this year’s cold to be a little less severe.

Unlike last year’s autumn, we have had mild temperatures and lots of rain. Is it the rain perhaps that’s making this cold a bit worse than usual?

If only I had the answer to that.

Autumn and rain seem to be a match made in heaven in this part of the world. A typical autumn rain is a downpour, sometimes accompanied by wind, but on the best of days, no wind at all.

I have had the privilege of loving and caring for my dog Emma for three autumns now, this one being the fourth, and crazily enough, this autumn is the first in which I am properly geared for the autumn rain.

I bought myself a pair of Hunter boots in September and since then, my life has changed. Perhaps I have my boots to thank as well for succeeding so far to avoid catching the dreaded cold. However, I did come close the other day to falling prey to it.

It was last week that I woke up to a beautiful sunny day and decided to bike to work. I prepared for a long day at the office as I had a 6 pm Pilates class and I figured that I might as well work late, and bike straight after work to the class.

However, in the afternoon I watched with horror the rain pouring down. By the time it was time for me to head home, it was still pouring, and I reluctantly put on my biking gear with rain pants and rain coat to protect myself from being soaking wet. Unfortunately, my Hunter boots were resting comfortably at home and I had to make do with my Nike Free sneakers.

By the time I got to my Pilates class, I was soaked through, and my sneakers a muddy puddle after the 14 kilometer journey from work to the yoga studio.

There was hardly any wind to speak of, but the rain just kept pouring down from the thick clouds that seemed to have taken possession of the skies above.

I was simply stunned by how incredibly soaked I was despite the rain gear. This particular rain gear has been my savior on many occasions when walking my darling dog Emma but this time it made no difference.

After all that cycling in the rain, I had a whiskey voice uncharacteristic of someone who just finished a Pilates class. Thankfully, the next morning, I was back to normal and the rain had at last subsided temporarily.

This week is predicted to be worse than last.

With nothing but rain in the weather charts, it seems that autumn is here in style. And maybe, just maybe, I will run out of luck if I persist in biking when the rain is at its worse.

But I will not be defeated by heavy rain and for as long as the temperature is mild, I will continue to cycle to work and my yoga studio a few times a week, and if necessary, wear my Hunters to spare my feet the free-flowing puddle in my Nike Free.

To me, autumn is the most enchanting season of all with leaves in auburn, rouge and amber floating in puddles, and the fresh coastal air filling my lungs with renewed energy.

Júlíana Björnsdóttir –


Views expressed here are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Iceland Review.