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Thursday, September 3, 2009

How to...

Prepare for a run in the rain.

Let me set the scene for you...

This morning I awoke to the gentle rumble of thunder. I looked at my alarm clock, it was 5:00 am. Sweet! I said to myself... another 30 minutes to sleep. When my alarm went off 30 minutes later, I could still hear the rain outside and I immediately reached for my phone.

Drats. No text message from Matt. I was kinda/sorta hoping he had woken up already... tired from our run with the East Nasties last night and that coupled with the sound of rain would make him bail on our weekly Thursday morning run. No such luck. So, I got out of bed and got ready.

Now, first let me say... I used to HATE running in the rain. Seriously, I would skip any scheduled run if it were raining (and living in Middle Tennessee, that means I missed a shit ton of runs, because it rains a lot here). But, starting this past spring, in my attempt to become more hardcore, I decided: hardcore runners aren't afraid of rain. So... I started running in the rain... and along the way I learned a lot things that have made the experience less awful.

I realize that a lot of people LOVE running in the rain. Count me in that group if it's a slow drizzle on a hot summer day. Otherwise... I hate it. I hate being wet in general. I hate the feeling of wet clothes sticking to me. I hate having water dripping down my face and body. I hate puddles. I hate carrying around an extra 3 pounds of water because my shoes are soaked and sloshing. I hate being cold. And most of all... I hate coming home to my place a dripping wet mess.

But, I do have a few fairly obvious tips that all of you probably already do (but never told me about, shame on you!) that I have learned along the way about preparing for a rain run.

First of all... What to wear.
It's raining. So you reach for your rain jacket, right? WRONG. That sucker will only keep the rain off you for like 2 minutes and after that, it too becomes a sopping mess that not only doesn't keep you dry, but also suffocates you with your own body heat. It's been awhile since I've read it, but I'm fairly certain this is one of the punishments in Dante's Inferno: Running constantly in the pouring rain while wearing a rain jacket. I made this mistake during the Tom King Half Marathon this year.

The absolute best thing you can wear is something that is fitted and one layer. Wet fabric flopping against you with every step sucks. If it's already fitted to you... it flops less. Everything is going to get wet anyway, so the less layers you have on, the better.

Shoes? Wear some dirty, old ones and immediately take out the insoles when you finish so that they'll dry quicker.

Last, make sure you wear a cap/visor of some sort. It will keep the rain out of your eyes and make for a much more pleasant run.

Next... Prepare your home.
Allow me to use a visual aid. My entry way this morning before my rainy run:
So, let's start at the door and work our way down. A towel. Two plastic grocery bags laid out. A robe.

I walk through the door and immediately I wipe my face off with the towel. Then, I take everything off... shoes, socks, clothes, hat, and place them on the plastic bags. I dry myself off as much as possible with the towel, then I put the towel on my head and put the robe on. There. No more wandering through my place and leaving wet spots all over the floor. (Yes, it took me 3 years of running to figure out this super obvious and easy routine).

So, if you hate running in the rain like I do (or the effects of running in the rain, I should say), maybe some of these tips will help you get your ass out the door.


Spike said...

wow, you used "shit ton' and referenced Dante's Inferno, great post. I love to run in the rain, hard rain, drizzle, might end up on OZ storm, whatev. but your suggestions are right on point.

April said...

I have a feeling I'm going to have to use a few of your tips this weekend...they're calling for rain for the next few days!