May 27, 2014
Rain, rain go away come again another day.
That is the song I found myself singing to my daughter over this bank holiday weekend as the weather put a stop to some of the fun activities we had planned. There’s one thing for me to head out into the rain for hours on end but quite something else when it comes to taking my precious little girl who already has a bit of a cold out to feed the ducks in it!!
The rain has been really testing me of late.
Last Thursday I had planned to go on a long run with my friend Natalie who I am doing the Southend Marathon with in
a few oh yep that’s TWO weeks time, but as I sat there that afternoon listening to the wind howl and the thunder shaking the windows I found myself texting her
Shall we reschedule for the weekend?
The weather actually improved by the time we was supposed to have been out running but by that point I was already tucking into my dinner, planning a relaxing night in and a few hours catching up on emails.
Saturday morning I woke to my alarm and to the annoying sound of rain on my window pane, but I knew there was no escaping it. Our long run needed to be done, and if it was raining then so be it. So I crept out of bed in what I like to call “The parkrun creep” and headed out to Hackney Marshes parkrun, via a 20 minute run through the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which apart from a few soggy security guards was desolate.
Despite the rain the parkrun had a good turn out of over 100 runners, including Natalie who had made it with our other training partner Spencer. As we stood in the clubhouse on Hackney Marshes with the rain still falling, the runners eyed up the footballers and the footballers eyeballed the runners, each of us working out who were more bonkers to be out playing sport in this weather.
Considering I had got a PB just 7 days ago the 5K of parkrun this weekend felt really laboured. The rain darting through the trees soaking me to the bone probably didn’t help, but as I knew this run was only one part of todays plan I took it easy and strolled across the finish line in about 34 minutes which I was reasonably happy with.
After catching my breath and getting my bar code scanned we headed off again in the general direction of Victoria Park, it was still raining but we were on our long run so who cared? As we made our way past the International Broadcast Centre and the RUN sculpture at the Copper Box, the weather started to brighten up a bit. By the time we got to Victoria Park the sun was actually shining and I took my windbreaker off and ran in my damp vest.
It was about 11am time I got back home, so in total I had been out 2 and a half hours in less than ideal weather but I felt amazing about what I had achieved – just short of 12 miles in fact. It wasn’t the strongest run I have ever done, and I was far from at my speediest but considering the conditions I think we did well.
Over the weekend I put something on Facebook to the effect of “Who’s going out for a run in the rain?” to which one of my followers from down under replied “I thought it was summer over there” what a joke!! I think when you live in the UK you can’t take anything for granted when it comes to summer time. If you wait for the sun to arrive you may wait forever.
Besdies, if you are one of those people who look at the rain and use it as another excuse not to get out there and run then you are seriously missing out. As I run through Hackney Marshes already wet from my journey there the heavens really opened and it rained so heavily that I started worrying about my iphone in my back pocket, but what the hell I was having a blast. Running in the rain is one of the absolute joys in life, but only if you have the right attitude for it.
I can remember clearly a time when I was younger during the school holidays when if it was raining heavily we would all be in doors looking out the window A. Wishing we were allowed out to play in the rain and B. Wishing the rain would stop so we could go out and play, on the odd occasion we got caught out in the rain it was simply fantastic, whilst adults took shelter wherever they could, we would literally dance in the rain till our hair was sopping wet, our lips blue and our fingers numb and crinkly. Being out in the rain was simply the best.
But in case your childhood memories of being in the rain doesn’t convince you to run the next time there is a downpour here are some other reasons.
Running in the rain is great because
- Most people are at home so the roads are quiet and you don’t have so much of an audience
- People that do see you secretly wish they were as brave as you too
- Being soaked through to the bone disguises your sweat
- The rain cools you down and lessens the red faced maniac look
- It gives you the excuse of buying specific wet weather kit
- If you have a little toilet accident nobody would know the difference
- Running in the rain makes you feel like a PROPER runner
- You are likely to run faster so that you keep your body temperature up
- You can have an amazing long hot bath when your done, knowing you have earned it
Seriously guys, next time it is really pelting down head out, you might be surprised at how alive it makes you feel.