Saturday, October 17, 2009

Making the transformation into a Hardy Runner

For years, the only time I ever ran in the rain was during my middle school cross country days, because we had to. When I was off and on with running, the rain was certainly an excuse for me not to run. Or just go to the gym and use the treadmill.
Now, I must admit, on Thursday and Friday I used the treadmill when it was cold and rainy. But, that was more because I don't want to risk being outside too much before the marathon.
But today was the last double digit run before the marathon, and it wouldn't have been fun to do that inside. So, even though it was 43 (35 with the windchill) and rainy, I bundled up (it's amazing what the pink jacket and running tights can do) and headed out. This was the first run of the fall season where I could see my breath, and the first run where gloves were also needed (which I kept taking off and on throughout the run). I actually don't mind the cold, and I'm sure growing up in Rochester, NY has something to do with it. The rain is a different subject, but since I had a repellent jacket on and a hat, I couldn't really feel the rain.
Normally, I see at least 60-75 runners around DC when I do my long run on the weekend. Today, I think I only saw 25, tops. And all of the other runners were dressed like me, with black tights and jackets, all bundled up. There was definitely a feeling of solidarity, because we were the ones actually out there running. I know we must've looked crazy to some people for being outside, because a year ago I thought those who ran in the rain were crazy. But, now it seems that I've made that transformation into a hardy runner!
The rain was a good thing, because it motivated me to go a little faster so I could go home and take a hot shower. I ran my 12 miles at about 8:45 per mile and felt really strong at that pace. It was a great last long run before the marathon, and definitely good for my confidence during the taper. Plus, there is something fun about splashing around in the rain, doing what others won't attempt to do, and burning off 1000+ calories in the meanwhile (that makes me look forward to my dinner party tonight all the more)!

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