Yesterday I volunteered to do race packet pick up for a race this weekend. It is a very popular, fun race with amazing after race perks. It is also a race I will be running in as well. As I stood there excited to help, I couldn't help over hearing one of the coordinators of the race talking about the forecast for the race. The weekend forecast was not good and keep in mind it is May!
As being a runner of the races and not use to seeing the behind the scenes, it sure gives you a new perspective of how much goes into a race. We've gotten the emails that say what will happen in case of weather and we kind of move on. It stinks to get a race cancelled or the distance lowered but we stress a little and than go about our day. Watching the coordinator not stopping looking at her phone over the weather, and getting anxious about it made me realize, yay it's not as simple as just cancelling the race. I've naively thought whats the big deal, there r no refunds and they get to keep all the money for doing nothing. There may be some race officials that feel that way, but most aren't that cold. Especially a big organization like this. They do this because they love it and their love and passion reflects them as an organization.
The runners approached us anxiously awaiting their shirts and bibs. Some people this was their first race, they traveled from far away, or they were just running to run. The topic of rain was on everyone's thoughts. One lady anxiously asked me, have you ever ran in the rain? My reply was, yes. She responded, well how do I dress? What do I wear?
1. Practice in these conditions! Just Like you prepare for races with distance, prepare
For races in all weather. We never know what the weather will be like. Not just rain, snow but high winds, cold and hot temps, and hills are all things we need to be prepared for. In addition, running opposed to these conditions such as running against wind is also a good idea. Running indoors or on a treadmill each time the weather is bad, wont prepare you for raceday weather.
2. Rain coat/ poncho: You want to wear something comfortable, breathable and preferably wind resistant. If a poncho works, great, but I have found they are too bulky for me. My raincoat I wear is just a C9 one from target. It's actually not even a running one but I couldn't afford the $200 ones from the running. I searched many stores and than decided to try the one I had at home and you know what, it worked great. I put my hood up and tightened the straps on the side and it helped keep me dry and took away impact from the wind. When buying it at the store, try it on and do some jogging in it to make sure it's going to work. Just like shoes, it's an investment and you want it to save your runs not slow them down.
Ski googles have been my best friend. They are seriously the best $20 I ever spent. I wear them in the winter when its snowing and I've worn them in the rain to reflect the water out of my eyes. In addition, they save impact of the wind on your face and eyes especially in cold temperatures. I ran several runs over the winter in very low temperatures without googles and I found myself with severe headaches for a few days after. The googles saved me from those and left me more awake at the finish because my eyes weren't weighed down by the wind and cold. Someone recently asked me about swim goggles. I have personally not used them but if you have a story please feel free to share.
4. Carefree: I dont feel equipped enough to do it these days but in high school I just ran in my sports bra when it was rainy. It worked quite well for me because I wasnt bulking around wet clothes but Im too self conscious these day especially with the stretch marks from the children but it is an valid option.
5. Extra tips: Some other considerations especially if the temps aren't going to be too cold are running sleeves, light gloves, and shoes you may not care get as wet.
6. You are a badass: Every situation isn't ideal but it makes us stronger. There are many things in life we didnt think we could do but we do! We can't pick the forecast of our days. We may be able to see a prediction or outline of where its suppose to go but there are no guarantees. The best we can do is prepare and train ourselves. Accepting our current situation and living it to our fullness is our choice. Whether its rain, wind, snow, hills, valleys, sickness, lack of confidence or fill in the blank, you can do it! When you're struggling in that moment remind yourself you are a badass, a conqueror, and persevere! When you look back you can say oh I got this because of your experiences before.