Yesterday we had to run 15.5 miles in the rain. In the rain! I am not talking about a soft sprinkle (mmm, on ice cream). I am talking about a downpour, like chocolate syrup dumped on a sundae (Ok, why am I always thinking about dessert or food?). It was the mother of all rains and we ran in it. We ran far – too far! I wish we could say we intended to run in the rain (we didn’t) or that it was part of a genius plan to maybe make our run easier (it wasn’t). I don’t think either of us really expected it to rain. Unfortunately for us, when it did rain, it poured.
The rain was great at first. We kind of told ourselves that it made the run more interesting. It did until the point where the rain felt like a heavy blanket that had been draped around us; a heavy wet blanket that didn’t really keep us warm. And there we were running with huge smiles and doing our best to do what Tim Gunn of Project Runway would have told us to do, “Make it work.” Oh, and let me tell you, we wore that rain like it was the new fashion in running. It accented our caps with drops on the brim and brought our bland running gear to life. Girl, we worked that running path like a runway during fashion week. Ok, wait, what the hell? Rachel has really made me watch too much Project Runway. (Is it bad to say I kind of like it?) Anyway, we wore that rain until it went out of style. We wore it until it was moved to the sale rack and discounted 5 times and still couldn’t sale. We wore that rain until it was impossible to wear any longer, and then we kept wearing it and we kept running!
It wasn’t supposed to happen like this. We knew we had a two and half hour window to run. The forecast called for rain all day, but when we woke up it was only sprinkling and the clouds seemed to be moving in the opposite direction (well, maybe we wanted them to be moving in the opposite direction). Regardless, we knew we had to run. Plus, when we arrived at the park there were already a lot of people running. We immediately thought we weren’t crazy to attempt to run so many miles with a downpour looming. Of course when it began to rain the park cleared out like someone yelled, “fire.” I guess we were the ones who stuck around waiting to get burned.
We had previously run in every kind of weather except rain (and snow). It wasn’t something either of us had much desire to do. But, when the weather turned from a soft drizzle to a slightly harder rain and then an all-out downpour, we knew we were in for a long run. We were already facing the monumental task of running 15.5 miles (our longest run ever…yes…ever!). Compound the long run with rain and what do you have, yes, a tasty cheeseburger (food, why always food?). No really, what you have are two tired runners who can barely stand, drenched to the bone like little wet dogs, shaking in the cold air. Boy were we a sight out there in the park. It was the two of us against the world. I mean literally, there was not a soul in sight until our second to last mile. A guy ran by, just as dedicated as we were and said, “It’s a little wet out here.” A run is always more fun when accompanied by sarcasm.
By the end of our 15.5 mile run, with our legs wobbling and our minds delirious, we sluggishly attempted to stretch. Not only had we run farther than we had ever run in our lives, we did it while being completely soaked to the bone. I don’t know how we kept going. Maybe the rain had some therapeutic calming effect and it pushed us forward. Maybe it was the novelty of it all and the thought that it would be a lasting memory. Perhaps it was because we were doing something that we never thought we could do. Personally, I would like to think it was because we were simply that dedicated to our marathon training and accomplishing our goal. For whatever reason, we did it. Girl, let me tell you, we made it work (that was for you Rachel).