Monday, August 18, 2014

Twenty, take two

So when I posted about how warm it was for last weekend's 20 miler even at the coolest part of the day, Meredith commented that she always seemed to have to do a 20 miler in the rain, and that Mother Nature could be quite cruel. 

I didn't even know what to say to that.  All I could think is how much doing a 20 miler in the rain would suck and how it would probably be worse than doing a 20 miler with a starting temp over 80.

You know where this is going, right?

Drink if you guessed worst of both worlds!

So yeah, my second 20 of the season yesterday.  It was low 80s and 79% humidity at 5:30 in the morning. 

A solid six miles.  I won't say a dry six miles, because I was sweating like crazy, but it wasn't coming from the sky.

Around mile 6.5, it started raining lightly. 

By mile 8, it was raining pretty steadily.

I got to mile 10, as far as I could possibly be from my car, and that was when the downpour, complete with thunder and lightning, began. 


At one point, probably around mile 13, I was running with one of my buddies (the rest of our group had spread out way more than usual).  He's an oncologist.  There was lightning right above us and an instant huge clap of thunder.  We both screamed.  It was kind of funny afterward, he said he probably sounded just like his daughter.  It was really scary though. 

And just in the name of public service, after what felt like a near miss, I asked him what he would have done if I'd been hit.  Would he start CPR immediately, or run to the nearby house and have them call 911?

His answer:  CPR for sure.  Obviously, if you don't know CPR, the answer might be to call 911, but he said that a lightning strike doesn't always stop someone's heart, but if it does, the first few minutes of CPR are critical and can restart a heart.  He said he'd just start CPR and since other runners would likely be along within a few minutes, he'd leave it to them to find a house where the people were home and call 911. 

I thought that was interesting.  Even though I know CPR (to be a running coach, we're required to be certified annually), I honestly might have tried to get 911 first.  But now I know! 

By mile 15 or so, it was getting miserable.  Every time there was a cross street along our route, it was like running across two rivers on each side of the cross street.  I tried to jump over a few, but some were just so wide that I basically gave up.  And some of them were deep!  Like I tried to step in the shallower part along the edges, but even so, each foot ended up completely submerged at least twice, and there were about 100 steps total where the water came over the sole of my shoe and flooded in.


Definitely a run I'll remember for years and years to come.  I'm sure among my running buddies, it will become the stuff of legends, a story we're still remembering 5 years from now.

But the upside is that the rain brought the temps down a bit, or actually just kept them from going up.  It was in the low 80s when we finished, not a ray of sun in sight. 

And as a result, my overall pace was 30 seconds per mile faster than last week's 20!  Still slower than I'd like, but I'll take it. 

Like I said before, each marathon season, I usually have about 3 20 milers.  Survive the first, improve on the second, own the third.  So far, I've survived and I've improved, so hopefully I can own the next one. 

Driving home after the run:

Huge puddle outside, basically we crossed something like that almost every block.  Sigh:


  1. Oh my goodness! I got caught in a thunderstorm recently while running and it was very scary. It was just a short three-miler, and I can't imagine running so far in heavy rain and storms. I am in awe that not only did you finish, but you ran 30 seconds faster!

  2. Running for an extended period of time in a downpour, just really gets on my nerves eventually. I've ran a couple of marathons in rains like that. After 15-20 miles in the rain I am JUST DONE WITH it. But the worst part... is the chafing from the rain. I hope you didn't have too painful of a shower afterwards. Ouch.

    Anyway, nice work on a fast, wet 20 miler!!

  3. haha ... that really is just miserable! And because the preview showed the Weather app, I knew where it was going! (#drink)

    And I totally get that tension - for me active local lightning is one of two 'do not run' conditions (or, get to cover ASAP if I am out). Scary stuff.

  4. Glad you showed improvement even if you did have to run in ridiculous conditions. I’ve never had the “joy” of running in the rain…yet.