Last week was one of those weeks where I inexplicably had zero motivation to run and the forces of nature and life conspired to make it easy for me not to. Monday was a rest day, Tuesday and Wednesday were incredibly windy (and I hate, hate, hate running in 30 mph wind gusts, aka my first and second marathons), Thursday a huge cold front blew in and I went to visit a friend in the hospital, Friday it was cold and rainy, and Saturday I drove to Oklahoma (and back, seven hours in the car total) for a second cousin’s wedding shower.
All excuses, I admit.
So Sunday’s long run was a shock to the system.
Getting up at 6:30 was really getting up at 5:30 because of the daylight savings time change. All I have to say is I am not a morning person. Let me say it a little louder: I AM NOT A MORNING PERSON! On top of that, when I was leaving it started to rain. At 52 degrees, that’s not the end of the world, but remember I’m from Texas. Anything below 70 degrees and we start to go hypothermic.
I texted Bill to see if he was still running. He said he could go either way. Things were looking up. I texted Hari, who was going to run a few extra miles before we all met up at 7:30. He texted “en run” and said he had only one mile left and would see me in the parking lot. Grrrrrr.
I was a little grumpy making that drive to the lake, windshield wipers happily swishing back and forth. At the very least, I would go ahead and drive over to the lake, if only to tell them I didn’t want to run in the rain.
But, I try not to be one of THOSE runners who bails on their friends at the last minute, and I knew full well I would do my long run, no matter the weather.
And, of course, it turned out to be a great run. A few more people showed up than I expected and we had a nice little group. We practically had the lake all to ourselves. It rained the first few miles, but not heavy, which was very refreshing.
Here’s my guilty confession: I actually love running in the rain.
I’m such a fraud. I complained about the rain but I actually always love running in it.
The lake loop is 9 miles, which meant we needed to do 3 miles off the lake to get in the 12 I wanted. Bill wasn’t feeling the love and decided to stay on the lake and run the loop by himself.
I must have been half asleep because I let Hari decide what our off-lake route would be. My dear friend Hari is notorious for a) getting lost, b) finding hills, c) inexplicably extending our routes miles longer than they should be, and d) turning every run into a tempo run.
He will deny it all but it’s true.
True to form, Hari found two hills, one steep and one long. The 12 mile route morphed into a 14 mile route. And we kept a fast pace.
My month off from running has meant my stamina is still not where it should be, so I turned off early by myself and took the 10.5 route back to the car. My IT band was feeling strangely tight, and my calves were hurting a little, too. I wanted to somehow tack on a few more miles to make it the planned 12, but I was alone and I was weak. I settled for 10.5.
Those last three miles alone were ridiculously difficult. It was a good reminder of how much it helps to do your long runs with a group.
All in all, it was a great run. We won’t have too many more cool mornings like this in the future, with summer right around the corner, so I need to count my blessings.
And running in the rain: a stellar bonus!