The plan yesterday? Run 18km (11.2mi). The weather? Rain. Ranging from steady to downpour.
I decided that it was as good an opportunity as any to test out my new shoes. Since it's a different size then my last pair, I wanted to run inside with them so that I could return them if need be. While I'm perfectly willing to run in the rain, if I'm going to do an indoor run anyways, I'm not going to do it on a day where the weather is beautiful.
Having said that, 18 km is a long ways to run at the track. Previous experience has taught me that track running gives me aches that I don't get otherwise. So, I figured I'd do 10 or so at the track and then finish off outside in the rain.
This meant a trip to the track to run in circles. Now, I don't usually listen to music when I run. For one, I don't need it, and for another, it's not allowed in triathlons. May as well train how I'm going to race. Having said that, the one place where I do use music is at the track, when I'm running alone.
So, I put on my shiny new shoes and turned on my ipod. I walked a lap to warm up a bit and then started running. Feeling good. My toes felt like they had lots of room in these shoes, but they didn't feel too loose. Actually, they were a bit tight across the top, where I tend to have problems. I stopped after a couple laps to loosen them. No problems after that, which is highly unusual for me. I have almost always had at least mild pain across the top of my right foot no matter how loose I have my laces.
At first I just ran. I turned up the volume on my music. I wonder if I was one of those obnoxious people who had the music so loud everyone could hear it? I was using my garmin to count laps, since I would be useless at keeping track in my head. After a few laps, I started doing the math to figure out how many I needed to do. It was 4.3 laps per km, so I figured every 13 laps was 3 kms. (I somehow forgot about the 0.1 km I'd be losing every 3 km). I figured I could do either 39 laps for 9 km or 52 laps for 12 km.
Fortunately, at my track, the direction changes every half hour. So, just at the point where some of muscles started protesting against the continual turns, I'd be turning the other way instead. I glanced down at my garmin after finishing a lap and realized that I was at 41 laps. Oops! Not paying attention. Oh well, the rain was currently in a hard serious downpour state. Maybe just as well if I stay inside a little longer.
Truthfully, it didn't become a true battle until I was nearing the end. I remember looking at my garmin, seeing 47 laps and inwardly groaning that there was still more then a km. Then when I hit 48, it meant I only had 4 laps left to go. When I got to the final lap, I gave a bit of a push, and ran it in 59 seconds. I've never been able to run a lap there in less then a minute, and I wasn't even full out sprinting, so that made me feel good.
I wasn't done yet though. Time to hit the rain.
I drove home so I had a bit of a break. (Since I'd be wet, I figured it was better to be at home at the end of the run so that I could shower right away.) When I got home, I changed my shirt to a long sleeved one, ditched my ipod and went back out. (I'd already changed shoes at the track.) I started running right away, since I was warmed up there was no need to walk.
It was raining pretty steadily, but no longer the kind of downpour where the rain drops can actually hurt. I find that I don't mind it as long as I wear my cap since the brim keeps the water off my face. I headed straight for the river pathway.
Sometimes, it can be hard to get out in the rain, but I've never struggled with a rainy run once out. Once warmed up, it feels good and yesterday was no exception. I could definitely tell that my legs were not fresh, but I wouldn't expect them to be after already running 12 km. I had a good rhythm going and was a bit faster then I usually am for long runs. Sadly, no view of the mountains with how cloudy it was, but I was happy with my river, hills, and trees.
The 6 km (3.7mi) I had left went by quickly. I was running strong and feeling great. Even though the race I am really looking forward to is my Oly tri, I thought a bit about my next half marathon. I am going to kill it. I'm going to be well trained and really comfortable with the distance by the time I get there.
As I was nearing the end of my run, I passed the town's water treatment plant. There was a guy outside, having a smoke break, who commented "that's what I call dedication". It may have looked hard, because I know water was pouring off of me, but I didn't really think it was. When I run in 30c (86f) weather, I think that's dedication. Or when I run in -30c (-22f), yeah, I've got to be serious. Running in the rain? Meh, not so bad.
I picked it up for the home stretch and finished strong. I still felt great even after running 18 km. Heck, I probably could have done another 3.1...
So, what about you? Are you a fair weather runner, or do you get out in anything? Would you rather do the track (or treadmill) or run in the rain?
I have to say, rain all the way for me. I actually really enjoy the sensation, and will reserve the track for truly bad weather - or for testing new shoes.