It took me 28:05 to run the second Media Challenge Race of the season, but I was drenched before I’d been on the course for a minute. Not because, like in years past, the weather was just so oppressively humid, but because a powerful, exuberant thunderstorm broke out at the exact moment the race organizer started the clock.
Imagine a great takeover: everything was forced to submit to the deluge. This storm raised an amused eyebrow at your umbrella, then proved how useless it was by aiming the rain sideways. Although us racers didn’t completely submit–we still raced, after all–we accepted the race on the storm’s terms. We were going to be sopping wet, our shoes would squish, and even seeing what was in front of us would be a challenge. What does this mean as a runner? For me it meant this was the most fun I’ve ever had in a media challenge!
Running through a strong rain brings out my inner child. While she didn’t completely take over (this would have involved twirling in circles with my arms spread open and my head tilted back), she definitely helped me run faster than I thought. It was all so absurd, the weight of my water-laden tech tee (yes, I did wring it out while running while it was still storming. Me: super smart), trying to wipe the streams out of my eyes. I might have mumbled Squish squish! Squish squish! in cadence with my strides. I definitely laughed out loud with delight and glee. (Fuckin A, people, how often do adults get to feel delight and glee? We gotta revel in it when we can!) Having said all of this, I can imagine that running a marathon in these conditions would suck hard.
Don’t ask me my splits. I ran this race the first week my Garmin was broken so I was running naked, which gave me a chance to really tap into and pay attention to my effort levels. Not sure I could have run any faster without puking at the finish line, which is just not cool in front of industry peers. I think my team would have gotten docked a point or two if that had happened (or at least, I think that’s a fair rule that should be instituted, don’t you?). Finish-line puking: minus 2. Mid-race puking: minus 5.
One thing about racing drenched: there’s no hiding your body flaws. All the lumpy parts are accentuated by the clothes that are clinging damply to every curve and bump. Dear God, please release me from my vanity….. Still way-ting!
Here’s a blog post about the only other race I’ve run in a lot of rain. Have you ever raced in the rain? Did you love it or hate it?