This weekend, I may have discovered one element that can define one as a hardcore runner......freezing rain. Yes, running in the freezing rain. I suffered through weather conditions that would send most normal minded people onto their couch all day with a good movie or book.
I'm not sure the word "miserable" does me justice when I describe how I felt running my 20 miler in the rain on Saturday.
The forecast was for a coastal storm to start creeping up through the Carolinas this weekend and it all began Saturday morning. I got awake to darkening skies....and Running Buddy and I both had our last long run scheduled for that morning. We had not planned to run together, but we both knew the impending conditions. Neither of us wanted to suffer alone. So after a few texts and some last minute planning, we made it out to the official starting point of the Shamrock Marathon ready to simulate 20 miles on the course. As soon as I picked Running Buddy up, the rain started.
Luckily for us, it was an easy start with the wind to our backs and we were both pretty well layered (another plug for that very cool Nike jacket I bought a while back). We made it about 9 miles until we hit the boardwalk into the wind and that's when the misery started.
The wind must have been blowing 10-15 mph steady with gusts up to 20 and the rain was beating us to death. We ran about 20 streets up the boardwalk and exited onto the trolley lane heading to the north end. That was around mile 12. By this time, things were starting to get really tough.
Running Buddy and I trudged up towards the north end in blustery wind driven rain. By mile 14, we were soaked, tired and hungry so we stopped to eat. More trouble began as we tried to start back up and my Running Buddy got panicked over being cold and wet. She says "Kelly! I'm miserable!" We really didn't have much further to go and we were not far from the car on the turn around, so, after asking "What would YOU do??"....Running Buddy put on the tough girl panties and made it all the way to the turn around with a potty break near the end.
So, what defines us as hardcore runners? Probably more adverse conditions than I could list in my post. I know that my Running Buddy has suffered through major bouts of trots and hydration issues and now she has learned to brave the elements. She is becoming hardcore.
But I realized something about myself on that miserable run on Sunday....3 hours in 40 degree temps with wind and rain. I discovered that I have strengthened my ability to endure pain and misery. I guess you just do as a result of running which inflicts some pain on you most of the time. But the will to go on when the conditions just SUCK.....that's strength I never thought I had.
So, I like to think that yeah, I'm a bit crazy and obsessed in my running....but I've become a little more hardcore.
1. Major boob burn from a soaking wet bra that has now turned into a dry scab ouch
2. Hands so cold from wet gloves, I started to see stars
3. Hallucinated a port a john that actually turned out to be a transit bus...hell they were the same color.
4. Drymax socks WORK! Hey, the socks were soaked and I swear it never felt like it.
5. The Nike Jacket stayed dry for about 15 miles...but then it was a wet rag.
6. My Nike Livestrong capris beaded the rain the entire 20 miles and ended up winning the "driest piece of clothing" award from yours truly.
7. The mind can talk the body into anything the heart has the will to do.....just believe in the run. (That's my feeble attempt to get all deep and philosophical)
So, that's the story in all its glory....time for taper!