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Cold + Rain = Miserable Half Marathon

Posted by cavewomanrunner on October 6, 2009

What do you get when you combine 39 degrees and downpouring rain on the first weekend in October?

A miserable half marathon!

And boy, am I glad I didn’t register for the full marathon! I’m happy to report that my foot injury went away and I was able to train for the half marathon. Other life stressors kept me from training for another full marathon, but after the weather debacle over the weekend, I’m relieved!

The week before the race was filled with sunshine and 90 degree temperatures. The day before the race, temperatures had dropped to the 50s and the wind picked up. The night before the race, heavy rains. Those rains continued all night long, all during the race, and 24 hours after. Believe me, I had thoughts as I donned my winter gear about not even showing up for the race. Yet, I couldn’t do that. I felt like a slacker already for not running the entire marathon. The least I could do was show up and attempt to run the half.

Standing under a tree in my winter coat kept the rain off . I agreed with my boyfriend, we were crazy to be out here. I’m mean to have made him get up at 6:30 to stand out in the cold and get drenched. I reminded him, at least he didn’t have to run in it. He said that’s because he’s smart. He had a point.

I actually got in the front part of the pack at the starting line. That probably was a mistake, since when the gun went off (or didn’t go off, probably because it was soaked), herds of runners passed me. I kept to my pace, not wanting to start off too fast, especially in the cold conditions without a real warmup.

The first 4 miles were rather easy, although I could tell my body was just trying to keep its core warm. I wore heavy long pants, two long-sleeved winter tops, gloves, an earmuff, and a hat. No Vibrams, just my old Nike running shoes. At mile 5 the course turned into the wind, so now the rain was darting right into my face. At one point it was hailing. I saw frost form on my gloves. At least there was no need to wipe my runny nose, the rain was conveniently washing it away.

The next 6 miles were straight into the wind and rain. Lovely. Did I mention I hate running in the rain? That I despise being wet and cold?

Finally at mile 10 the course turned away from the wind and found the cover of some trees. I tried picking up the pace, but my muscles just would not respond. I think they were frozen. Solid. The last mile I increased my stride rate as much as I could, and was able to pass a few folks before finally crossing the finish line. My sweet parents were there to greet me – and take me to their car, complete with blankets. I felt bad for soaking the inside of their car! I also felt horrible about my time. No personal best this day! 2:07, a 9:42 pace. Big sigh.

A nice warm shower eased my body back from the wet, cold brink and I was able to visit with my parents and family for a few hours. Then the really depressing part of the weekend sunk in – not only had I run a crappy race in crappy weather, I had to get ready to go to my crappy  job in the morning.

On the bright side, at least my body wasn’t sore at all. And the next day the sun came out and it was in the 60s.  

And….I have two more half marathons coming up! I hope the winter weather stays away for those dates – but you never know! I should prepare myself for the worst.

Yet as Metallica sings, “What don’t kill ya, make ya more strong!”


One Response to “Cold + Rain = Miserable Half Marathon”

  1. mtm said

    I ran in the Amica’s Newport marathon yesterday 10-18-2009. I live in Rhode Island, smallest state in New England area. The weather forcast a North Easter, rain, wind and cold. At least you finish the half marathon. I did not finish the marathon. I could not read my body signal very well. I guess I was to wet and cold, to realize that I was suffering from hypotherma. My legs kept cramping up, which made think I not taking in enough fluid, which was not the case. Oh bye the way this weekened’s forcast is for sunny and temps to be in the 6o’s ideal running weather.

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