I ran my farthest run on Saturday- 6 miles! I was really excited to tackle this run, because it’s the first time I’ve been able to do the Central Park loop. I’ve done the 5 mile loop before, but it really felt good to run the full loop. I was a little apprehensive passing by the exit for the 5 mile loop, knowing that I was going past the point of no return (cue the Phantom of the Opera soundtrack…). It really was an odd experience. I’d never been to that portion of the park before. It was very serene and I don’t think I had to dodge a single strolling tourist. But I did encounter two new challenges in that mile: rain and a never ending hill. Honestly, I think those two challenges cancelled each other out. Running uphill is hard, and I think if I didn’t have the rain to distract me I would’ve focused all my energy on the hill that seemed to go on forever. So instead I focused on the rain. I made the decision to embrace the rain and enjoy it. It cooled me down and turned out to be a wonderful distraction.
Aside from the hill, it was a fairly easy run. I think that I’ve figured out that running outdoors comes much easier to me than running on a treadmill. Every time I run on a treadmill I seem to struggle. I focus solely on the time remaining, how long I’ve run and how fast I’m running. It feels like a chore- it’s not much fun. When I run outdoors, especially in Central Park, I feel like I could almost keep running- past whatever mile mark I’m supposed to hit. I people watch. I race past people. I try to keep up with others. I get inspired by other runners. I feel like I’m part of a community. It’s leaps and bounds more enjoyable than running on a treadmill in a windowless, stuffy, smelly, Manhattan gym. So I’ve made the decision not to let rain ruin my runs any longer. A rainy run outdoors is more rewarding and enjoyable to me than a run on a treadmill. Take that Mother Nature!
I woke up this morning at 5:30am for my rainy run. I have no problem getting up that early to work out, but the thought of mucking around Central Park seemed too miserable to me. I haven’t had the chance/funds to purchase any “real” running clothes, so I would’ve had to run in a cotton ensemble which would have rendered me a drowned rat. So I hit the snooze and rolled back into bed.
Seeking to further justify my decision, I asked a friend (who also happens to be training for her second half marathon) if she runs in the rain. Her short answer: no. Basically she told me that once you run in the rain your sneakers will dry out, but they are never again the same. However, she said I should absolutely run at least once in the rain for the experience in case there is rain on race day.
So, no, today will not be my first rainy run. I’ll put that off for when I am better equipped to handle the elements. While the treadmill is not ideal, it will have to do today.
It was a beautiful day in New York yesterday and I was excited for a 3 mile run in Central Park. It was a beautiful day, until I left my windowless world at work to discover the torrential downpour occurring outside. It wasn’t even a warm humid summer rain; it was a cold, pelting rain. I should have braved the weather and carried out my double loop of the reservoir, but I was just not mentally prepared for my first rainy run. So I wussed out and knocked out 3 miles on the treadmill.
I know that when it comes to training for a race, you need to train in all types of weather. So today I did a little research on how to prepare for a rainy run. I found an article on About.com with some good tips on the best gear for sloshing around in the rain. While I highly doubt you’re going to see me sporting a garbage bag around the city, I may need to pick up some type of waterproof gear like this Nike jacket. Although at over $100, I may need to reconsider the Hefty Bag look…
Tonight’s a cross training night (boxing!), so no need to worry about the weather. Tomorrow morning, however, I’m scheduled for another 3 mile-er. And guess what else is scheduled tomorrow morning? Rain. I know what gear I need attain to physically prepare for a rainy run, now I just need to work on the mental preparation part. I’ll let you know how it goes.