“Brave the storm to come, ’cause it surely looks like rain. It looks like rain, feels like rain, here comes the rain.” Throw that onto my playlist this summer, thank you Bob Weir and Jerry Garcia — LIVE from Palo Alto, 1982.
Seems like I’ve been fighting the rain for a while now. But in all seriousness, for me and a lot of others, nothing is worse than running in the rain. It is however, an essential part of training, I’ve been told, that you may not skip. Because you can’t predict the weather on race day.
So, on days like today, and yesterday and the day before yesterday, when it’s been bucketing and raining sideways, and there’s that sweet smell of rain in the air, I’ve begrudgingly put on my nice dry sneakers and headed out for a run, knowing I’m going to get soaked to the bone.
Feelings that come along with running in the rain, and many of you will concur:
— I’m an idiot. Didn’t my mother tell me to come in from the rain?
— Duh, yes, people driving by, I know it’s raining.
— Is that a blister I feel?
— Chafing? What’s that?
— Those aren’t tears, that’s rain running down my face.
— Yes those are tears running down my face; I’m laughing and crying at the same time.
The list could go on, but the feeling of accomplishment when I’m done always seems to out-weigh that list, no matter how long it is.
As long as you’re prepared, both mentally and with your gear, you’ll survive. Don’t go out on a rainy run and expect a PR though. It’s raining. It’s cold. It’s hot. You’re going to be sticky and sweaty and wet all at the same time. Enjoy the run for what it is — a run. Nothing more, nothing less.
That’s the mental part. Now for the gear.
What can you do to make it better, or at least not have it stink so badly?
— Wear a hat or visor with a brim. It’ll keep the rain off your face.
— Don’t overdress. There’s nothing worse than several wet layers; layers aren’t going to keep the rain off you, it’s just more wet and heavy clothing.
— Be seen. Wear bright or reflective gear, remember drivers aren’t looking for determined runners in the rain!
— Protect your electronics. Be smart, if you’re going to use your iPhone or iPod, keep it in a small zip-lock baggie — you’ll thank yourself later.
— Prevent chafing and blisters. Use Body Glide anywhere there’s rubbing. Feet, toes, inner thighs, underarms, the seam on your sports bra! Anywhere and everywhere something is rubbing.
Page 2 of 2 - And remember, if you keep jamming to Jerry’s solo and don’t focus on the rain, it will go much faster. Promise.
Nicole LeClair Jones is the Special Events Coordinator for Camp Good Days and Special Times, which serves children and families affected by cancer. She’s the mother of two young children, and an avid runner (5:50 a.m. you’ll find her running somewhere). Last July she served as the race director for the Just Clowning Around 5K to benefit Camp Good Days. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re ever looking for a running partner or if you’ve got a story idea.