Because I had written my last post on the things that don’t bother me as a runner, it naturally rained during my entire long-run yesterday. Even when the sun came out, it was still raining.
It was a warm, gentle rain, and after the first four miles I was coated in sweat, making my light rain jacket ridiculous; and once I stripped it off, the rain kept me cool.
I didn’t need as much water during my run, and I could go longer between breaks for chia-gel.
While I prefer running in the sunshine, running in the rain on a warm day is great too. In fact, some of my fastest runs this year have been during a warm rain shower. (Notice how I keep mentioning a ‘warm’ rain?)
It rained during my last marathon, but it was the type of rain that sinks into your bones and joints and causes your muscles to feel like blocks of granite, which is not desirable when you’re trying to envision yourself as Legolas, darting lightly through Middle Earth.
Mind power only goes so far.
The only downside to running in the rain yesterday was that my SmartWool socks were completely drenched. Normally, they do a great job wicking away sweat while keeping my feet from chafing; however, yesterday the wool socks held the moisture like sponges.
When I switched my Newtons for flip-flops post-run, my feet were pasty & wrinkled, like the hands of a kid who’s been in the tub too long.
The question is: did the rain affect my running?
The surprising answer: yes–in a good way.
Because I was cooler, without being at risk of hypothermic, and because I wasn’t too hot, and thereby obsessing over the warning signs of heatstroke, I was able to simply run–shocking, I know.
I don’t run with gadgets anymore, so I can’t give you my splits, but I ended up running the entire 15 miles in 140 minutes, which means, if I run that fast during my marathon, I will make my dream ‘goal’ of a 4 hour marathon.
I know it’s not much to some people (like those featured in running magazines), but for me, a nearly 40 year-old housewife with no prior record of athletic achievement, this is fabulous.
I ran my first marathon in 4:40. My second in 4:30, so realistically, I should aim for 4:20–or 4:15. But I AM a dreamer, and for some odd reason I have it in my head that a 4 hour marathon would mean that I could, realistically, achieve my next goal of running a mountain marathon.
But one dream at a time.
For now I will pray for ‘perfect’ running conditions for the marathon, which may include a few scattered showers and a touch of humidity.