Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Four Corners

Most recreational runners have to live and think outside the box in order to manipulate a training schedule into a life schedule. 

I live with the idea that I can't skip a midweek long run, because that would interfere with tomorrow. But I'm flexible and reasonable, and can usually make things work so that I don't skip a run unless there's black ice or swine flu. wait, I take that back, I ran a 20 miler with swine flu.

This flexibility/box manipulating works for me, because I don’t do well inside a box.
Not well at all. 
I need space. 
Out door space is best.

I ~fecking~ hate the dreadmill. 

I mean, I am thrilled to go to the YMCA and run on a dreadmill when the weather dictates that I MUST not run outside. Or if my childcare situation demands that I not leave my kids alone to run. #lifeisinthedetails

Soooo. I run on the dreadmill when there’s black ice and ... black ice. Yep. That’s when I run on a ‘mill.

That’s about it. I’ve run in wind, snow, thunderstorm (shh), and once (accidentally) a tornado warning. I have run in rain of every flavor. Pouring rain, light misty rain, rain that fails to cool me on a hot day, cold rain that turns my skin pink, and fog so dense it may as well have been rain.

Why would I prefer rain to a nice dry dreadmill at the YMCA or my apartment fitness center? I mean, other than the part where I feel like I'm stuck in a cage on a hamster wheel?

Well. I figure you never know what race day is going to hand you. I can’t control the weather, but I can prepare and practice for it.

In fact, more than once in my life it HAS rained on race day. And I mean RAINED. I raced a 5K in a Tropical Storm, and I raced a Half Marathon in torrential flooding rain. I ran my first marathon in a steady drizzle.

Because I’ve always trained in nasty weather, race day weather has never been a game changer.

And this week was no different than any other training I’ve ever done. 40 degrees and rain... well, it was time to run. So I ran.

I make a policy to run in the rain for numerous reasons:
  ELIMINATE SURPRISES - as mentioned, it could rain on race day.
  TIGHT SCHEDULES – I live on a tight schedule. I have kids that need attention, nursing school classes and clinicals, and let’s not forget that the weekend is reserved for mountain biking ... er, I mean long runs. I meant... yeah... so if I skip my mid week long run, when am I going to run it? It’s not like I can run back to back long runs on Saturday and Sunday. I mean, I could, if I liked being injured, but I don’t, and my body can’t do it.
  MINIMAL RISK – running in the rain doesn’t make a healthy person sick. Germs make healthy people sick. So why wouldn’t I run in the rain? And, yes, I advise wearing a hat... with a light on it.
  BADA**NESS COMES IN LEVELS – seriously though, if you’re badass enough to believe you can run 26.2 miles straight, you’re badass enough to run in cold wet conditions.  Boom.

Somechick & I had wicked fun
Tuesday night, I got out with Somechick and we knocked back 8ish miles in some nasty pouring 40 degree rain. People who drove past us were looking at us like we were in-fecking-sane. We ran through a local college campus, and it was quite obvious that the students were perplexed by our choice to run, versus sit in the dining hall. The cars that drove past us sprayed us with sheets of water, and my shoes were squelching in the last mile.

I came home, took a 47 minute HOT shower (ok, not quite), drank some HOT tea (quite) and did homework before going to bed at a ridiculously early hour.

Then Wednesday morning I woke up to the sound of more rain. Uhg. Cold weather plus rain makes me want to curl back up in bed under layers of blankets and go back to sleep for a few more hours. My dog counseled me on this decision. She was very convincing... but, she’s a dog, and I’m not, so I got up and got dressed.

I ran almost 6, and met T for another 10+.

16 miles in cold gray cold rain. 

It was the kind of rain that is deceptively heavy. It looked light, but it soaked us through by the end. I was soggy. And tired.

But I did it, and tomorrow and Friday if it snows, I don’t have to worry about squeezing a run in where I don’t have time, or on a dreadmill, because I got my miles in.

And, to be honest, yep. It felt a little bit bada**. But then, we’ve discussed this... I’m definitely bada** level: Galactic.


MCM Mama Runs said...

Did the same today and yesterday. Will be running in the snow tomorrow if that's what comes. It's what we do. ;o)

Pam said...

I wish I had your resolve. It was pouring rain here Sunday, too, when I was supposed to do 16. Like POURING. Flash flood warning pouring. I couldn't bear the thought, nor could I bear the thought of stepping foot on that dreadmill knowing I had 16 miles of it in front of me. I just didn't have it in me mentally. So I waited until about 4:30 when it had slacked off to a not-quite-soaking wintry mix (dude, sleet in 20+ MPH winds STINGS) and only got 8 miles in before dark. I thought about running 8 more on the mill but decided... f*** it. And in doing so probably tossed my training right in the shitter. I missed my long run last weekend because of the flu and then this weekend because of mental pussification... It'll be hard to come back from two missed long runs only a month out from the race.

Yo Momma Runs said...

Love this post. Mostly I've had to do all long runs in hot humid weather. And guess what I've gotten every marathon this season: hot humid weather. Gross, but I guess I was sort of ready.

Running for Oreos said...

You're so hardcore! I too will run in the rain, I despise the treadmill, and I have one in my house! The only way I run inside is if it's ice, I'm so clumsy, I will fall flat on my a$$!!

And you are so right! You never know what race day will bring! Might as well be prepared and brave the cold/rain/snow/sleet/wind or whatever!

Anne said...

Yup! Whatever it takes!