Running in the Rain

I try talking to the man about the weather, but he never listens. Typical man. The weather reports haven’t been too kind of as late, which isn’t surprising. It is winter and how I long for a little friendlier weather for my long runs. But I vowed to keep a more positive attitude for 2013–one of my new year’s resolutions. Thus, I decided to take my long run outdoors this weekend on a not-so-pleasant rainy day. With my new-found happiness and avoidance of all-things negative, I discovered a few reasons to love running among the clouds and rain.

New sounds to hear. Because of the devastation I would feel if my iPod suffered any destruction, I left my not-so-waterproof iPod at home in my gym bag. Instead, I just listened to the drops on the street, the spray coming from the cars as they drove through the puddles and my feet making slushing sounds. While not exactly Rihanna and Pink, the sounds of nature were a welcomed change to my run. I loved hearing the light drops change to torrential rain.

A new route to run. Because of all the puddles, I couldn’t exactly run through the streets like I usually do. My typical six-mile route suffered from record-breaking waterfall and now found itself covered in mud pits and three-inch puddles. Rather than brave blisters, I took to the sidewalk on a new path. Because of this, I got to watch older men try to play a game of golf in a downpour (which was very entertaining) and bikers take a spill while peddling through the street (not so entertaining…actually kind of sad and I stopped to help.) New views always added a little something extra to my run that sometimes felt rather monotonous–and I have Mother Nature to thank for it.

Finding hilarity in my run. Running through pounding rain is both ridiculous and incredibly enjoyable at the same time. I found tremendous joy in the heavy rain hitting my head and drowning me with each step. One car driving by actually slowed down to ask if I needed help. “No,” I said and continued on laughing my way back home. I looked insane and in desperate need of a towel, but I wouldn’t take it back. I felt like a kid again going outside and just playing in the rain.

I encourage you to take your run outdoors even in inclement weather. Is it snowing? Find peace and zen in the run with the silent snowfall. Is it raining? Jump through puddles and come back home muddy.


Running a Marathon in Copenhagen

Two years ago I participated in the Copenhagen Marathon, which is still one of my favorite races. Anytime I travel to Europe, I fall in love with its wonders all over again–European chocolates, outdoor cafes, adorable pastries and delicious cuisine. Thankfully, this time in Europe I partook in an opportunity to burn the calories I generally acquired when traveling to this part of the world.

European marathons are quite different from American ones, mainly because they are run primarily by men…and fast men. Out of 10,000 runners, 8,500 were male in the Copenhagen Marathon. This marathon actually has a greater percentage of women than other races in Europe. Spain’s main marathon in Madrid, for example, is 97 percent male. It’s not a bad demographic for a single female, I must admit. One of the positives of European marathons is getting to run with loads of attractive European men.

However, the negative is the field is very quick. For a not-quick person such as myself, it’s hard on your mental endurance to end up so far in the back.

This course had a relative out-and-back of sorts for part of it, so I saw the 3:15 marathon group coming toward me (of which I am clearly behind). This pacing group had at least 1,000 runners with it–a massive amount of racers keeping a very fast pace. Because of the sheer power of the marathoners, I actually ran faster than I expected just to keep up with the crowd.

I experienced very unfortunate weather the year I participated. While other years runners get lucky and the Marathon Gods clear the skies, it wasn’t to be for me. At mile nine, the clouds burst and torrential rain poured through the streets. All spectators abandoned the course and numerous ambulances carefully maneuvered through the streets to attend to runners suffering from hypothermia–not exactly ideal racing conditions. I considered the weather that morning and wore a long-sleeved running shirt, but sans gloves. My hands froze and I kept trying to pull the sleeves down over them to warm up; unfortunately my shirt was so wet it didn’t quite work.

During the rain, one of the aid stations offered bananas. The runners tossed the peels right onto the course–runners + banana peels = slipping and sliding. The streets are also quite flat, so the rain really had nowhere to go; we just ran through puddles down the cobblestone streets.

Despite the weather, running through the colorful European neighborhoods and smelling the European bakery treats made this a wonderful running experience.

I’d totally do it again.