Running in the Rain: Half Marathon and 20-Mile Run

Happy Sunday all! I am going to make this a short and quick post since I’m sort of tired. Last night I attended the More-Fitness Magazine Half Marathon Pasta Party, where I met up with my cousin-in-law and a few of her friends. I’m usually not one to sign up for these parties and I was reminded of why last night. The food was pretty generic and unimpressive, but I didn’t go into it expecting a gourmet meal. Still, they could bring it up a notch next year. Although if I run the race next year, I will most certainly not be attending the pasta party, so it really doesn’t matter to me in the end.

Anyway – sorry for the tangent. It was good to catch up with my cousin a bit and talk about the upcoming race – and the terrible weather predicted. Everyone there seemed pretty optimistic that the rain would hold off, but I did not share their sentiments. My cousin actually brought down my light rain jacket with her – that’s how non-optimistic I was.

I stopped at the store on my way home from the pasta dinner and besides a bunch of healthy stuff, I also bought some Tostitos Hint of Lime chips – they are an addiction. So I snacked on a few of those before bed because the dinner hadn’t really filled me up.

I headed to bed around 10:00 p.m. and was up by 6:00 a.m. this morning (Sunday). I had my normal pre-run breakfast of an English muffin with peanut butter and a banana, as well as a granola bar and a big glass of water. I grabbed my Garmin as I headed out the door at 7:15.

I decided to catch a cab to the start since it was indeed RAINING when I left. And I’m not talking a sprinkle here and there. It was rain. As I tried to hail a cab, a girl in running gear came up right next to me. She asked if I wanted to share one to the start and I said heck yes! Apparently, she lives in the building right next to me – who knew?!

Made it to the start and decided to huddle under a tree until the very last minute in order to avoid the direct rain. I also noticed pretty quickly that my race bib had me placed in THE FIRST CORRAL!! What is that?!! My time on my bib said 7:49 as my expected pace and I did not think that would place me in the first section. Being the chicken that I am, I opted to line-up in the 2,000 corral, a few back from the start. We all huddled in the corrals for what seemed an inordinate amount of time and then finally we started.

And it was WET! This was a whole new kind of wet I’ve never in my life experienced. I was optimistic about the power of my waterproof rain jacket for the first 2 miles or so, but then slowly felt the wetness seeping in.

Oh oops – totally forgot to mention the BIGGEST bummer of the day…and no it wasn’t even the rain. My Garmin froze. Yup – totally froze at 7:04 a.m. apparently. I was pushing buttons like a crazy woman while lining up at the start, but finally just gave up and decided to wing it. After Googling the issue when I got home later, I learned I needed to hold the Start and Reset buttons down at the same time for about 10 seconds. I had tried holding them both down, but for only a few seconds. So this presented a HUGE problem. Yes, I wouldn’t be able to track my speed during the race, but I also needed to run extra after the race to get in my last 20+ run for training. I did a few mental calculations and planned out a route I thought might work.

So, back to the race. It began, it was raining hard, and I was Garmin-less. Sounds like a worst-case scenario right? Well yes, it was, but I also just decided to run whatever pace I felt comfortable with. The first few miles were really rough. My body wasn’t warmed up, but my clothes were getting soaked and it was making for a very uncomfortable run. Finally, by about mile five I was sufficiently warmed up and used to the rain (as used to it as one can get).

I made it around 1 loop and was even feeling pretty happy when the rain cleared a bit and it was only drizzling slightly. That was short-lived when it started raining hard again around mile 9 just as I was approaching the big hill on West side near 110 Street. Fun. Around this time, we also started passing the walkers, which meant I was basically running in the center of the drive the whole time – a.k.a. running more than required. Awesome.

But I’m making this sound horrible. Despite the rain, the cold, the lack of Garmin and the extra mileage, it was actually a good race for me. In fact, I PR-ed. Haha! My official finish time was 1:46:00!! That is about 3 minutes faster than my half marathon in January. Average pace was 8:05 minute mile and I came in 168 place overall. So maybe my bib number wasn’t all that far off?

Yeah – go figure, I ran my best in the worst of conditions. I can’t explain it.

So after I crossed the finish and marveled at the fact that they announced my name even without my racing bib on display (those sly NYRR officiators are so quick), I grabbed a gatorade and water and washed down a Gu I’d had in my pocket throughout the run. I paused for a moment and argued with myself about continuing the rest of my long run or calling it quits and heading home (I sooo wanted to go home). But guilt and fear won out (afraid I wouldn’t be prepared for the marathon) and I trudged on. I headed West out of the 72nd Transverse and then headed South again to do another loop. The funny part was that I was mixed in with runners and walkers still racing. This also served as incentive to keep running since I was being cheered on (I know I’m such a liar) and I figured that these other racers were going to be in the rain for the same amount of time as me, so if they could stand it – so could I.

I did another loop and then turned into the 72nd Transverse from the West side and headed North up the East side. I left the park around 85th and made a bee-line for home. Walking indoors out of the rain felt amazing – everything I’d dreamt it would be and more. I later used mapmyrun to determine how far I’d run and it was 21.3 miles! I was hoping to get to 22 this time around, but I will happily take 21.

Here are a few photos of my state after this wretched run:

See Hubby – look at my superlow Bib number!!

And my nasty socks and leg – those socks used to be white.

I literally stripped at the front door and immediately jumped in the shower. My legs were screaming for a good stretch, but I had to get rid of all the mud and muck first. After my quick shower I gave my legs what they were begging for and stretched really well – also including some rolling with my marathon stick.

Since then, I’ve snacked on this:

Chobani with granola

And some carrots, grape tomatoes, hummus, cheese and grilled chicken breast.

I also ate quite a few Hint of Lime Tostitos as well. And Hubby and I just finished watching The Blind Side and I loved it!! So cute.

Anyway, this has turned into a super long post. But I am very happy that my last 20+ run is finally done and I didn’t skimp out on it like I soooo wanted to! Yay for determination and perseverance despite ALL ODDS!

Hope you’ve had a great weekend. What was the best part of yours? Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

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22 responses to “Running in the Rain: Half Marathon and 20-Mile Run

  1. I am so impressed!! You ran such an amazing time! I would have prob not even gone to the race in this weather, I am such a baby. You continue to inspire me, seriously.

    How did they know your name if your bib wasn’t showing??

    • I have no idea how they knew who we were! There must have been some device tracking our D-tags as we were coming toward the finish and they used the D-tag number to figure out who we were. That is the only thing I can think of. I was pretty impressed with that.

      Trust me, it was a real battle with myself to a) get up and actually go to the race in the rain; and b) finish the race and run the extra mileage. But I knew I would be so mad at myself afterwards if I didn’t do it.

  2. Congrats on the awesome PR!! You’re going to have an AWESOME marathon next month. YAY!

  3. Great job on the half! I think the reason people sometimes run their best in lame conditions, is due to the extra ammo you have to pump yourself up with in order overcome said conditions.

  4. Congrats on the PR! If you can run that well in horrid conditions, imagine what you can do when the cards aren’t stacked against you – and raining on your head. I’m incredibly impressed you pounded out even more miles after the race. Go you!

  5. Great run and congrats on the PR!! What a trooper you are to do the half and then get those extra miles in for your long run.

    I feel kind of bad, we had gorgeous weather here yesterday….. I ran a 5 mile race and got slightly hot during it. But the rainy weather was maybe good for you…plus you never know what weather you will have for the marathon… hopefully nicer than yesterday!!

    • Thank you! Yup – the rainy weather was definitely good prep just in case it rains the day of the marathon. Now I fully know what that would be like. Although still crossing my fingers for some decent race day weather. I was so jealous while reading other blogs yesterday talking about the great weather everywhere but in NY!

  6. Congratulations! That is awesome. Sometimes I think that when things go wrong (like your Garmin) it takes some of the pressure off and we race better. Who knows? But you did it AND did the add on at the end. You’re a stud.

    • Haha – thanks! I’ve never been called a stud – I feel pretty tough right now. Yeah – I’m pretty sure not having my Garmin actually made me run faster – go figure!

  7. You are officially my hero! WOW…I am so impressed…not only did you PR (WOO HOO) but you kept going despite the awful conditions. I REALLY REALLY wish we lived in the same city because we would be such good running partners!! haha…I know I say that all the time but it is so true! Happy Monday!

    • Thank you! I concur – move here!! 🙂 Haha. I’d love to run with you – I think you would really push my speed to the max cuz you are FAST!! Happy Monday to you too!

  8. Wow! What an accomplishment to achieve such a great time in those conditions AND to push through and finish your run for the marathon training. I hope you are taking a nice rest today. 🙂

  9. Woo-hoo! You are such a rock star for PR’ing AND running 21+ miles – esp. when the weather on Sunday was atrocious. Now let the tapering begin 🙂

  10. Great job on the half-marathon! I’ve ran in rain before but only for a few miles and it was pouring! I had to rip my ipod off my arm and stuff it in my sports bra so it wouldn’t get wet and possibly mess up. You’re a trooper for having a PR in all of those conditions.

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