What's a girl to do when it's raining on her long run day? Eight miles on a treadmill sounds more dreadful than eight miles in the rain. Since I am always saying I would rather run in the rain than in the heat I know I have to suck it up and run in the rain.
I woke up this morning with a scratchy throat and a runny nose and my shins still feeling like they would like another day of having not to run. I ate a sensible breakfast of cheerios and banana and started getting dressed for the weather.I taped my shin, hoping the extra support would keep it happy and donned my favorite running tights, short sleeve shirt and a running jacket. I downed some airborne in the hopes of convincing my body that it really does not want to get sick and walked outside to check the conditions. Cold and wet, I decided to switch out my short running jacket for the longer one, I figured the more coverage the better. I was anxious to just get out there and get it done.
As I started out I decided to zip my jacket all the way up and use the hood over my baseball cap to try and keep water off of my face and to keep me warm, it was windy and colder than I expected. By the time I was into mile two, I realized this strategy was making me too hot so I took the hood off and unzipped the jacket a little, much better. At this point, I realize it's going to be a lonely and long run, since I appear to be the only crazy person out in the rain on a Sunday morning. As I run past the Ranch House I smell bacon, so very unfair.
As I enter Moraga Commons Park which is completely void of any life I am startled by two deer as they run past me in the rain. We have a lot of wildlife around here and seeing deer is not uncommon. But for some reason this felt so special. To be so close to them without anyone else around as we ran by each other, it almost felt magical and inspired me to pick up the pace a little. By this point I had already taken one walk break and given the long distance that I had to run today, there would be many intervals of walking and running. Once on the trail I came across a few runners who were friendlier than usual, something about being out in the pouring rain formed a little bond or inside secret, I made sure to say good morning to everyone I saw. At one point I came across a group of runners who were training with their coach riding his bike alongside of them. It felt good to know that I was not the only one training today despite the conditions.
After I crossed Rheem Blvd. around mile three I was by myself and wouldn't see anyone else until after I turned around to make my way back. At one point I actually groaned out loud as what seemed like a sheet of water and wind hit me all at once on the side of the face. I could have held my water bottle under the brim of my hat to catch the water that was pouring off of it. Around mile five I consumed my last Gu since I was near a garbage can. This is normally my favorite part of the run the 1/2 mile back to the park, but I knew I had to conserve energy to make it all the way home, so I tried to pace myself. It was at this point that I realized water was actually pooling in the elbows of my jacket and my shoes were so soaked that the insoles were slipping around and actually bunching up causing support in areas that weren't needed. I think that's when the reality of how hard running in the rain for eight miles really is. I can handle rain, I can handle the water on my face, being cold, but this was ridiculous. I stopped to refill my water bottle at the park and continued on. Again, typically this is a great place for me, I'm in the home stretch with two miles left, but somehow with six miles already in, two miles to go doesn't feel like the home stretch.
As I run along Moraga Way and past the Fire Station the rain seems to lighten a little, it doesn't matter I am already soaked through, so it doesn't seem like a gift of any type. Because I am vain, I realize I must look strong and not walk along Moraga Way, because someone I know might actually see me! As I round the corner onto my street (and out of sight of any major traffic) I slow to a walk, the last 1/2 mile is uphill and at this point I hardly have anything left. So the last portion of my run is made up of run/walk intervals. At one point my stride is so small but determined that I almost feel like I am marching. My Nike + tells me 400 meters to go, again, this does not seem like a gift because I can't even be sure I have 400 left in me, let alone 400 uphill. Only does the run feel like a real gift when I hear "Congratulations, you have reached your goal of 8 miles". After this I still have a quarter of a mile to walk uphill to my house. I finish up my water and have never been so pleased to turn into my driveway. As I put the key in the door, I realize that I am actually too wet to even stretch. I have to take my shoes and jacket and hat off before I can even stretch.
My plan was to come home and take an ice bath, but when I take my running tights off I realize my legs are cold and wet and red, hmmm.... maybe I don't need an ice bath. I opt to put warm dry clothes on and compression socks and used the ice packs for a little bit while I recovered with chocolate milk.
The only real joy of the came after rest and recovery when I brewed a pot of coffee and made eggs and bacon with hash-browns for my second breakfast.
I wonder if today's run would have felt better if it wasn't pouring down rain. I wonder if it's a mental issue, I was pissed that I had to walk so much of the run, did it really feel that bad or was I just beating myself up for the walk breaks. Not that I expect to be able to run the entire race without walking, but I still always feel bad when I walk more than I want to. It's been a mentally challenging week, the appearance of shin splints really messed with my attitude this week and while I did everything I could to heal them prior to today's run I still always wonder if it was enough.
Next up Oregon vs. Cal at Memorial Stadium and the Mermaid 10k! Was it a wise idea to plan a 10k race the day after being at a football game... hmm, probably not.
Week end totals:
Run: 17 miles
Bike: 17.14 miles