Sunday, March 20, 2011

Running in the rain

It wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. I was definitely soaked through by the end of it. Although there was the possibility of skipping the run today because it was raining, or it was cold, or simply because I didn't feel like it, I sucked it up and ran anyways.
It stopped raining right before I began my run so I thought I may just escape the bad weather. By the middle of mile 2 I knew I wasn't so lucky. It only sprinkled at first then turned into a steady downpour before I reached mile 3. This lasted for the duration of my run. By the time I reached my destination my gloves were so wet that I didn't see the point of them anymore and I took them off. My fingers were frozen, still clutching my soggy, useless gloves. It rained just enough to make little rivers, flowing swiftly down the street in all directions, and giant puddles that could not be avoided. My shoes would inevitably be inundated with muddy rainwater at some point so I ran straight through them. I experienced a measure of childlike joy in sprinting through the puddles as fast as I could go. Like when you're small and your mom tells you to stay inside because you might catch cold, but you run out into the rain anyways, feeling defiant and ultimately free for the first time. It was totally worth the cold that set in the next day no matter how many I told you so's you had to endure.
Can't be sunny every day.
I think the rain, despite the minimal discomfort, helped keep me going. I knew if I stopped I would only get wetter because I would be out in it longer. Calling someone to come pick me up was not an option (although that thought did cross my mind). I don't claim to be a die hard, rain or shine runner, but I sure felt like one today. As with any of my long runs so far, there was a constant clamor of self-talk going on in my head. I can do this. No, I can't, I 'm cold. Why am I running in a downpour? Because I'm awesome. Yeah, awesome. My knee hurts. Don't think about your knee. Walk it off you'll do great. The faster I run the quicker I can have a hot shower. Of all the things that went through my head today, the thought I took away from this experience was at the end of the run, when I hadn't given up. I felt an overwhelming sense of accomplishment in sticking with it till the end and for actually going the distance, in a thunderstorm no less.
My knee wasn't cooperative the whole time but every time I started experiencing pain I stopped, stretched and rubbed out my crampy muscles. I would walk it off for a few steps, then continue with my run. Overall (considering), I felt pretty good today. The work I've been doing on the bike has helped keep my endurance on track and I was rarely out of breath. Good thing this helps because, as of the beginning of my run today, I am car-less. My only vehicle is one of the two bikes parked in the garage, or these two feet of mine. School is only 2.5 miles from my house and work is just a little further. It'll be nice out in no time at all so it will only be a noticeable change in overall travel time (and the size of my laundry piles).

This has not only been the longest run so far, it was also the most challenging. And therefore the most rewarding experience of my training yet. 

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