Saturday, December 22, 2007

Last Long Run!

I needed one more run over 20 miles to get ready for my January marathon and as of last night I was still undecided whether it should be today or Christmas morning. Even though it had been less than a week since last Sunday’s 19-miler, I went with today, based on the following:

• Rain predicted for both days, but Christmas would be colder.
• Fewer people around on Christmas, which isn’t a good thing when you’re female and running alone for 4-5 hours.
• I might feel pressured to hurry on Christmas and cut my run short.

My plan was to circle the campus 3-4 times while waiting for the sun to come up and then make a decision whether or not to head toward Rice University and Montrose. predicted scattered thunderstorms, so when I saw the dark clouds to the west after sunrise, I assessed how I was feeling and decided that my brain was up for the tedium of staying close to home and doing campus loops, so I would be close to shelter at all times if a really bad storm blew in.

I’m happy to report that the reports of rain were greatly exaggerated. Although I did get rained on for the last nine miles, it was mostly gentle showers and drizzling. What made this a hard run was that many of the university walkways are of that pebble-encrusted concrete that becomes slick when wet. It messed with my stride and made me have to concentrate on my footing a lot. The other hard part was resisting four decades of being told to get in out of the rain! I’d be trotting along in the rain, feeling fine, but my brain would be screaming at me, “It’s raining! Go home!” But I couldn’t go home. Once I hit the halfway point, I was committed to finishing the run. I couldn’t go eleven, fifteen, or eighteen miles and then call it off and try to do twenty in three days. So no matter what the weather did, I had to keep on unless it became dangerous.

By the time I finished my run, the rain had passed and the sun was starting to come out. And thanks to the wind and the miracle of wicking running gear, my clothes dried super-fast and I never felt soggy. I had run 22.5 miles and felt pretty good about it.

From here forward, it’s taper time. Look for me to start getting grumpy as I have to cut back on yummy food to accommodate a reduced exercise schedule!


pacatrue said...

Your running abilities constantly amaze me. Here's to tapering.

Crabby McSlacker said...

Holy cow. Your determination really is impressive. Running the same loops over and over in the rain for that many miles and hours? I'm with pacatrue, enjoy your tapering!

the Bag Lady said...

Bunnygirl, you're the Bag Lady's hero! The old Bag can't even walk across the yard without gasping for breath...she couldn't begin to imagine running that far! And in the rain!?
The Bag Lady's resolution this coming year is to get into better shape (of course, that is her resolution every year...) and you are going to be her inspiration. (Quitting smoking and losing some weight should go a long way toward being in better shape, eh?)

Rachel said...

Enjoy your taper. You've earned it. You are more than ready for the marathon. I feel rain reports are usually exaggerated because it makes for interesting news. Good for you for sticking to your plan and running anyway!

Michele said...

What everyone else said---way to go, BG! I'm looking forward to reading about the marathon next year.

Isn't it funny how, when we come from a relatively dry climate, we get conditioned to believe it's a disaster to be out in the rain? When, really, walking---or running, in your case---in the rain is lovely. I've always admired how people from Ireland or England can totally ignore the rain. Especially the Irish. Gotta love that.