Saturday, March 13, 2010

Poncho Princess

I had a 4 mile run scheduled on this rainy day. Did I finish it? You will just have to read to find out!

I was actually nervous last night laying out my running clothes. I knew that today's forecast was rain and wind. In fact, the National Weather service has placed us under 2 flood watches and a wind advisory because of this storm. I have run in the rain but only in the summer when fat drops feel like Heaven cooling you off. This was going to be much different. I assessed my gear: did I even own anything waterproof? On the assumption that I didn't, I bought a poncho from the dollar store earlier in the day. I put a pile of clothes together that might offer some protection and would just have to see what the morning would hold.
I woke on my own at 6 a.m. which is like sleeping in for me. It was raining but not pouring, and about 35 degrees. I had some tea, a banana and put on my plethora of garments. As you can see from the picture I was a sight to behold! I am wearing my husbands super large Guinness hat which comes equipped with a bottle opener. This was literally the only hat that was close to fitting. I pile my hair under a bandanna to make it stay on my head. There is a poncho under my possibly water resistant jacket to offer some protection. And away I go! I drive a few minutes to a nice running area where I had tracked the miles on my car. I usually start from my doorstep but on Saturday runs my miles count. Anyway, I get out of my car and just start my walking warm-up then running. I untuck my poncho from my jacket and I look like I am wearing a giant green tutu. The wind is whipping rain in my face, which is freezing by the way. I'm having trouble breathing and I begin to think that my jacket is not really water resistant. In fact, it definitely isn't. The wind is the worst! I am really struggling and hating everything. I wish I had brought some music to distract me from how miserable I am. After a while, the wind lets up and I am able to compose myself. I find my shuffle rhythm. The rain isn't so bad and my core and upper legs are warm and dry thanks to my poncho tutu. I'm beginning to like the rain and enjoy myself. This could be semi-enjoyable! I like the puddles and watching drops of rain fall off of my hat. I remind myself that I normally really love the rain. I know that I am going to finish this run and I can't wait for the sense of accomplishment that I will feel when I am done. At the turn around point the wind really picks up and is whipping my face with rain. I am really soaked through but not cold. I am barely moving when I crawl up a hill because the wind is blowing so hard. I am having a love/hate relationship with this session. Another runner passes opposite me and instead of the polite nod we give each other a courageous smile and an encouraging wave each knowing what the other is feeling. Hey, at least we are out here! Despite being drenched I am feeling good. The end is in site and I finally finish!! YAY!! I DID IT!! After a short cool down I jumped in my car. Luckily I brought a towel to sit on. My core and tops of legs were still pretty dry thanks to the poncho! I realize just how soaking wet my shoes are. They feel like little sinking boats. But, I am so ridiculously proud of myself. I know that I can survive and somewhat enjoy running in the rain in cool weather. I can do anything!
I completed my 4 miles of walking/running in 50 minutes which is about what I expected. In my plan, Galloway wants his runners to go at a very slow pace, walking and running, for their long runs. This was only 4 miles but I want to become comfortable with his plan because I will be implementing it for the actual marathon.
After today I may invest in a water-proof jacket to get through April showers. Or I may just wear my poncho again :)


  1. Maybe you can advertise your Poncho Princess in the dollar store flyer! Or guiness beer?! I love the fact that is has a built in can opener, quite the outfit! And you are an awesome writer!

  2. A lot of runners don't like to run in the rain, but the sounds of the rainfall and of water running along the curbs, or when it's still dark, lights along the road refracting through the raindrops and reflecting off puddles, can make for an enjoyable experience!

    Runs like this can also give you an edge on marathon day! If it's rainy on race day, and you've never trained in the rain, it can put you off your game mentally. If you've trained in the rain, it's no big deal. You'll just think, "OK, I've done this before." The more race day variables you can prepare for, the better!

  3. thanks for the encouragement vern! I figured that I can't let a little weather get in the way of training. Last Monday's rainy run was much more fun because it was about 45 instead of 33.