Hurricane Sandy: DON’T PANIC!!!!

Oh man, I’m already hearing about people deferring and registering for a Spring marathon. While I totally get this kind of panic, I want to warn against it.

The weather isn’t really a sure thing until the night before.

Weather people often overstate for dramatic effect. See: Hurricane Irene.

Damage from Hurricane Irene in NYC. Staggering.

The decision to defer or to just not run is a very personal one.

On the one hand, you’ve trained for this for months and  to have Mother Nature screw you at the last minute just plain sucks. One of my friends said she’d run another one that is also nearby but is two weeks later. That’s one way to go.

Uh-oh, spaghetti-o’s!

On the other hand, if the race coordinators are going to hold it despite a little rain (read: not during a hurricane, but a rain storm), I’d run as long as I felt safe. I mean, we train in the worst conditions over very long, hot summer days. Why should a little rain stop you?

You’ve battled the heat (you sweaty beast, you!), why not the rain?

Get a hat. Wear fitted gear. Make sure your shoes have good tread. Smile.

This is what I would wear. Fitted tank, fitted shorts (both made of Luxtreme), rain resistant lightweight jacket (if it’s lower than 55 deg), and a hat to keep the rain out of my eyes.

The choice is, obviously, yours. But remember, you can’t predict Marathon Sunday weather, which is why we don’t abandon a long run just because the weather isn’t optimal during training.

If you’re not obsessed with getting a PR or hitting a specific goal (anyone left?), give it a shot. Have some fun. Be the badass who ran a marathon in the rain and lived to tell the tale.

My last two marathons, I was just happy to finish feeling good. No PR. No BQ. But I was really proud of my performance and felt seriously awesome for powering through.

I earned that medal. I’m proud of that medal. And I didn’t PR, not even close. Totally worth it.

Just a thought.

Now go out and run!

How To Love a Good Run In the Rain

Confession: I have not always loved running in the rain. In junior high and high school cross country, it meant slogging through seemingly endless miles of mud and yuck soaked to the bone in my cotton uniform to a finish line that looked like a brown Slip ‘n Slide only to ride home on a bus with a bunch of sweaty, dirty, smelly, filthy runners. Yuck.

Bless the Obi-wans for coming out to those cross country races and standing in the rain to watch me trudge past them. It could not have been fun for them, either.

Today is SO different. I love the rain. I ran one of my favorite 21 mile training runs in the rain all over Manhattan a couple of years ago. The park is quieter, the runners are nicer and there’s something more peaceful about a run in the rain than in any other weather. The other piece of the puzzle is my beloved gear. Thank heavens for lululemon!! I mean, good clothes really make running in inclimate weather not only possible, but enjoyable.

But it’s not always roses and puppies out there. You have to be in the right mind-set and prepare yourself for a few key situations when heading out for a run in the rain. Here is a sure-fire way to have a great run in the rain, in my experience.

#1. Leave your watch/Garmin/iPod at home. The rain (and likely, the wind) will probably slow you down a little. Plus, it’s better to keep your focus on the road/trail when it’s slick and only made more slippery by fallen leaves. Unplug and enjoy the scenery.

#2. Dress for success. Wear fitted, moisture-wicking clothing and a hat or a visor. Loose stuff will whack against your skin and get heavier with every mile, especially if it’s not a good tech fiber. Here’s what I wore today:

         

Turbo TankSpeedy Run Hat, Run: For Your Life Crops & the very fabulous (and now unavailable) Run: Essential Jacket. Rain usually means a sweaty, humid run for me so I don’t like to layer it up too much under my jacket. The hat is so key for me because nothing spoils a run like problems with my contact lenses.  Also, braids for the win!

#3. Plan on getting wet. Sounds silly, right? But, if you need to be back at your desk 5 minutes after your run and you have nowhere to shower and towel off, you probably want to save your run for a time when you can. This goes for your shoes, too. Probably not a day for a double-down in the gym after your soggy, beautiful run because they will look like this:

 

Sopping. Soggy. Wet. Dirty. Basically unwearable. Dry overnight.

#4. Treat it like a fun run. Don’t try and do a massive amount of speed work or some crazy mileage on a rainy day. Go out, do your best, get ‘er done and all that, but keep it light and don’t expect too much. Dodging umbrellas on 5th Avenue always slows me down, but if I plan for it, it’s not nearly as aggravating.

#5. Just do it, already! Commit. Don’t complain. Don’t procrastinate. Get out there and run. Running in the rain is akin to reliving childhood moments so enjoy it!

Now go out and run!