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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Long run in the rain

Last Saturday I cranked out 18 miles in the middle of a tropical storm. I have to say, it was less than ideal conditions. It was early in the storm still, so temps hadn't dropped much yet, and the rain was ferocious and hard. Winds whipped around me and kept flipping my hat brim up (I wore a ball cap to shield myself from the rain a little). It was impossible to avoid all the puddles and the downed branches turned the park into an obstacle course. I left my Garmin home since a) it couldn't find a satellite in the downpour and b) I didn't want it to be damaged - I know it is water resistant, but this was some serious rain.
Hopefully the Garmin is more water-resistant than the dye used in my shoes, but I wasn't taking chances.

I struggled against the wind for about 11 miles, stopping every 2 or 3 miles to wring my socks out. I decided to cut the run short when I saw how blistered my feet were getting, but when I reached the house David was just leaving for his run. My pace was already pathetic so I decided to run his 5 miles with him. I grabbed some pretzels to eat on the run, and headed back out. It was strange throwing a slow 5 into the middle of the run - David runs between 1 and 3 minutes slower per mile than me, and in this rain he was struggling to keep his pace under 10 minute miles - in fact, it felt harder than if I'd picked it up and run 5 fast miles. I don't know why that is, but it seemed fatiguing. I definitely enjoyed the company, though, since only 4 or 5 hard core types were out in the wet. The park was downright lonely!
I left David to run home by himself and finished the 18 with another loop around Audubon park. I must say I was glad the run was over. It was a challenge!

Some thoughts on this run: Any little change (rain, wind) seems so tough to me. How could I ever handle hills?! What challenges you on your runs?
Lots of people love running in the rain but I could take it or leave it. Are you a rain runner?
For some reason I have not really needed much fuel on my long runs this year. Last year I would have had a Gu, some oatmeal and probably a few chomps during 18 miles. Saturday I had 6 mini pretzels and I was fine - and I did not eat before I ran, and I left the house late (slept in and didn't start until 8:30). How much do you eat during a long run?


  1. I don't really like running in the rain, since I hate having wet socks! Then they start to rub on my feet etc.

    As for food, I am still learning what to eat, but I get tired pretty easily, so I am pretty sure I need to eat MORE before running. I have never eaten anything WHILE running. And I am usually not hungry afterwards, for at least an hour.

    I miss running in Audubon park, but I don't miss those WET summers!

  2. I absolutely LOVE running in the rain! When I was in college, when it would rain in the off season, I would call one of my teammates and we would go for a run. Purely just because it was raining! I ran last Saturday afternoon right as Lee was hitting. Nobody was out, the rain was coming down, it was so peaceful!

  3. I hate running in rain or wind, the wind because it fatigues me and the rain, well, because it's mostly accompanied by thunder here and then lightning.
    Hills on the other hand don't bother me that much. In our town there are bunches of them, no place where it's flat. It used to bother me, and then I started racing around Florida..feels very nice to pass everyone up the hill....
    I usually jsut use Gu on long runs, 1 every 5 miles or so...but...then I am never hungry afterwards...

  4. After running my entire marathon in the rain I avoid running in the rain whenever possible. That was just miserable before!

    I also don't like running in extreme heat or extreme cold. The spring/fall running temperatures are my favourite!

  5. Seeing as how it rains 3 inches ANNUALLY where I live... Not so much of an issue with running. What challenges me is the excessive, hideous summer heat. We have a good 3-4 months of 100+ temps daily.

    I actually stopped eating on my long runs as per the suggestion of my coach, who still runs 3:30ish marathons at age 72 and doesn't eat on his runs.

  6. Sometimes I love running in the rain because it does make me feel all hardcore...but other days I just don't feel the need to make my run any harder :) I realized a little while ago that sometimes when I try to take it too slow it actually is just way harder, so I let my body adjust to it's own pace on long runs instead of trying to force myself down, so you aren't crazy about the slow miles!

  7. Light rain in welcoming in this heat but that is it. I don't like getting my shoes drenched and weighed down.