Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A little rain won't hurt a run

Today's run (street) 2.8 miles at 9:06

If I were asked to describe my favorite running conditions I'd probably choose to have temperatures in the 40's, low humidity and indirect sunlight. I'd rather run in the 20 degree cold than the 90 degree heat but I'll run in both. I've run during snowstorms and loved the experience and I've done runs under the noon day sun with so much humidity that I was tempted to quit and walk home. I know people who only run outdoors under ideal conditions but I think that misses the point. Running is about playing the cards you're dealt. How can you understand your capabilities and limits if you only run when the weather cooperates?

When I stepped outside today I thought I'd experience the same conditions as yesterday, cool with a light mist. It's hard to tell too much about the outside weather in the early morning darkness and as I took off on my run I felt a steady rain coming down. It wasn't pouring but it was indeed raining and I had to quickly decide whether to continue or go back inside and run on the dreaded treadmill. I don't mind rain, in fact I like it a lot. My issue with rain is practical. I wear glasses and the combination of summer heat, humidity, rain and darkness make it difficult to see in certain circumstances. After a couple of minutes I concluded that the rain was light enough to manage through, so I continued to follow my planned route. I maintained a steady pace, keeping cadence in mind, and ran without a problem until I reached the two mile mark. At that point the rain became heavier and the humidity was beginning to fog my glasses. I was able to see well enough to keep going and I continued on my planned route back to my starting point.

On the last half mile of my run I was running south along a road that connects to my street and I noticed headlights from a car that seemed to be coming north from the middle school. The effect of these lights on my glasses was diffusion due to the humidity and rain. I became concerned about being able to see my way along the road but I didn't want to run on the sidewalk because there are many uneven sections that could cause a trip. I decided to cross over to the other side and hug the road. This small change offset the direct light that I could now tell came from an unmoving car. I was glad to reach my street and turn away from the distracting light and I finished my run soaking wet but pleased with the way things went. Another decent run despite the rain and humidity. I've been edging closer to running 3 miles on these early morning runs but I always run out of time. If only I could run a little faster.

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