DAY | PLAN | ACTUAL
MON | REST | REST
TUE | 3M/STRENGTH | 3.2M (8:50/MI)/STRENGTH
WED | 7M | 7.3M (10:02/MI)
THU | 4M/STRENGTH | 4.2M HILL INT (9:40/MI)/STRENGTH
FRI | REST | REST
SAT | YOGA | BIKRAM90
SUN | 10M | 9.5M (10:11/MI)
TOTAL |24 MILES | 24.1 MILES
If it rains on the day of the marathon, I’m screwed. I know that as a fact and I have ZERO desire to take any steps to change it. I’m not going to train in the rain. I hate it. I knew I hated it before this past Sunday, but my drenching 9 1/2 mile run confirmed any and all doubts.
A couple of weeks ago we had a really thunderous storm on a weekday morning. I’m someone who’s always been afraid of storms–at least the really loud and violent ones. They are such an awakening; I always feel like the Universe is bellowing: You are small! You have no control over anything! Anyway, right after a loud smacking retort to the lightening, my sister texted me and said, “Don’t you just love storms?” She had the day off, and was set to spend it in bed with Netflix. I replied back to her, “I don’t love storms, but I like the rain just fine, as long as I don’t have to be out in it.”
I hate being cold. I hate being wet. When I get wet, I get cold. And then, I’m cold and wet.
I’ve officially decided the Weather Channel App ranks among the most useless available in the app store.
I set out for my cutback week’s easy 10 miler. I was groaning the night before as the weather forecast told me I’d be headed to the gym for the treadmill. It was not ideal, but I was determined to avoid the rain. I woke around 630am, which unfortunately is what I call really sleeping in these days. I looked outside, the ground was wet but no precipitation appeared to be falling at that moment. I headed to the bathroom with my iPad–just like you do. I opened my Weather Channel app and to my surprise, the 80% of rain in the forecast the night before had gone down to 13%. It was expected to be cloudy, with little to no rain for the next few hours. HURRAH! I finished my business, fueled up a bit, and headed out the door.
My gym is a little less than half a mile away from my house. That’s where I made my big mistake. I jogged in place for a few seconds at a stoplight right across the street from it. I looked up at the window to the cardio room, and then up to the sky. A few droplets hit my face and glistened my shoulders. Ah, I’ll be fine, I can take a drizzle. I proceeded.
Once I hit the park there was no turning back. I was 3 miles in and I was determined to get er’ done. And that’s when it began. The drizzle became light steady rain. Light steady rain became heavier steady rain. Heavier steadier rain became a fucking downpour.
I wasn’t going to stop. You know when you get stuck outside without an umbrella and everyone else has one or is taking cover under some sort of shelter and is looking at you like you are crazy? I always splash by those people defiantly–I’m already wet, I’m not going to get MORE wet–it’s over for me, I’ve accepted it.
Well, it turns out I was wrong. Surely you can get MORE wet. Your already over-worn running shoes can FILL with water until you’re sure you’re running on sponges. Your enormous head of hair that takes forever to wash can actually get heavier on your head as your bun fills with more and more rain. You get it. I was drenched.
I abandoned my planned trip to Whole Foods for groceries after and ended instead at 9 1/2 miles when I returned to the park entrance after my second loop around. I ran under the scaffolding across the street, took out my phone to summon an outrageously surging Lyft, and scooted my cold wet butt home.
While I fell a little short of my training plan on that run, I still hit the mark for my weekly total and counted the endeavor as a win. I learned something about myself out there: I don’t care about being a badass as much as I thought I did.
I do hard things. That’s one of my things. I’m totally rolling my eyes at myself right now. I’ll tell you, for about 10 minutes of that run in the rain, I thought I was pretty hot shit. Swishing past the other runners who had taken cover under the peristyle felt like I was really accomplishing something. And then, all of the sudden, it didn’t. I was cold and wet and weary I was going to slip on the flooded pavement in my shitty shoes. More than once I exclaimed out loud: This fucking sucks!!
I’m not going to run in the rain again. I hate it that much. If it runs during the marathon, it’ll suck, but I will do the best I can. Funny–I think that 9 1/2 miles might be my most powerful run yet. Not really due to performance– I ran hard and I pushed through almost the whole run, but that wasn’t where I felt my gains. I left that park realizing that I didn’t have anything to prove to anyone. The last couple of miles–which were all uphill with water rapidly cascading down, were painful. Much of the way I thought about how for almost all of my childhood, my Dad told me I was lazy. His voice and that thought has lived in the back (and sometimes the front) of my head my whole life. Suddenly, as I moved up that hill, that voice and that idea began to disappear. It was replaced with my own voice, and with things I knew for sure. I thought: I am a hard worker. I am the real deal. I have nothing left to prove. My best, is more than enough.
After a long hot shower, I spent several hours on the couch in sweats, underneath a heavy blanket. I was a light-hearted grouch–I was crabby from the rain but happy, knowing what I had walked away with. My hubs humored me and even brought me food and drink when I couldn’t bear to leave my cozy lair. In the later part of the afternoon I finally started to warm up, and we settled into our team’s first college football game of the season. That’s when I finally got up, walked over to the fridge, and wrote in my 9 1/2 miles in the last open slot of the week. I admired the spreadsheet, dropped the pen on the counter, and loudly but to myself declared: “Holy shit, I’m halfway there.”
9 weeks down, 9 to go…
Where you at?
header: Noah Silliman