Consider me on Team Poncho. I rocked a poncho on a run for the first time in 2012 during my very first 50-mile run (see photo above). It was torrential downpour in the Marin mountains and it kept me dry (and warm) the entire time. With a closet full of water-proof running jackets, these $2 ponchos (purchased at gas stations, Target, etc.) were keeping my upper torso 100% dry. Don’t get me wrong, I love a running jacket more than almost anything, but for some reason I’m always hesitant to run in them, they are just too nice. #bizarrerunnerlogic
On Monday, I had a 22 mile run planned. The weather forecast had rain showers throughout the morning and I was in stand-by to getting my run on. With a busy schedule Tuesday and Wednesday, I needed this long run to happen before I got too close to this weekend’s 2-race day on Sunday.
Late that morning, the sun broke and I was out the door with the quickness. As I was leaving, I decided that I should bring a poncho with me just in case. I was running with my hydration pack, so I just tossed it in there to be on the safe side. 3.5 miles in and the rain came back and was coming down fairly strong. Without hesitating, I threw on the poncho and continued on my way. There was no thought of “I should just go home.” The rain lasted for maybe 30 minutes max, but it was coming down enough that the poncho was the right call. Around mile 7, the sun was breaking again and I simply took off the poncho and stuffed it back in my hydration pack… it would stay there for the next 15 miles.
That pace tho
Last week I had some really strong runs, that were below my targeted pace and felt reasonably good. The plan for my 22-mile run was to ignore the splits and just run by feel. I had the distance mapped out before, so there was no need to make sure I was getting in the right mileage. Just run, and run, and do my best to try to pick up the pace towards the end (which NEVER happens on my long runs).
8:54, 8:53, 8:44
Rainy miles 4-7:
8:36, 8:44, 8:45, 8:31
After these miles, I had an 8-mile route planned that I would run twice. It was 4-miles down, followed by 4-miles back x 2.
Miles 8-15, out/back:
8:10, 8:02, 8:00, 8:02, 8:18, 8:12, 8:03, 8:12
Miles 16-23, out/back:
7:59, 8:02, 8:11, 8:36, 8:10, 8:07, 8:02, 7:44
Distance: 23 miles
Avg. Pace: 8:18
But I thought you had 22 planned?
I did, but I was feeling pretty good and at 22, was still a half mile away from the house. I could either walk it, or tack on an extra half mile and see what was left in the tank. I decided to give it a go and am glad that I did.
What does this mean?
Everything and nothing at the same time. If I had continued the next 3 miles between 8:18-8:30, I would have a marathon PR by couple minutes. That’s a pretty darn STRONG training run. When I looked at my watch and saw the 7:44 split at mile 23, I let out a Rick Flair “WOOOOOOO.” The people inside that Round Table must have thought I was a crazy man. I had kept my eyes off my splits almost the entire time. I knew I was running pretty strong and felt pretty good, but didn’t have an idea of my actual pace. This was an extreme confidence builder heading into my last few weeks before I make a go at CIM in December.
It also means absolutely nothing. This may show that I have made some improvements in my training recently, but if I cant replicate (and improve upon it) on race day, it means nothing. We all know that race day results are based on so many variables. The best thing we can do is put ourselves in position to have an opportunity that day.
I’ll take Monday as a victory, but know that I’ll need to keep working.
Just imagine if I had called it quits at mile 3 because of the rain? Like I said, a $2 poncho saved my run, and it was one of my best.
Note: had it turned into a torrential down pour where it was unsafe to continue running, I would have stopped.
Do you run in your rain jackets?
Am I the only one that thinks they are too nice?