For some reason, when I trained for last year’s Richmond Marathon, I never had to run in the rain. It did rain during the marathon, but that was the extent of my rainy running last year. I never had to make the decision I made last week when I asked “What is worse – doing my hard run on the treadmill or in a downpour?
And I never got to learn the lesson I now know: DOWNPOUR > TREADMILL. No question.
I learned this one the hard way last Thursday. The rain was coming down hard and I hate getting wet so I went to the treadmill. Also, I’m moving at the end of the month and won’t have access to a treadmill anymore so I figured I might as well use it while I have it. Coach Abby had this on my schedule:
2 mile warm up, 3 miles @ 8:15, 2 mile cool down
I did my 2 mile warm up, and when it was time to run my 3 miles I turned the speed up. . . and I couldn’t do it. I lasted a half mile before having to get off the treadmill. Even after turning the speed down a little, it was just too much. I can’t do the treadmill. Even a 10 minute mile on the treadmill feels like I’m sprinting – I’ve always felt this way. I hoped I could just push through but I couldn’t.
But I know I had the prescribed pace in me, and I knew the only way I could hit it was outside. Rain or no rain. I left the gym, grabbed my Garmin (my apartment is connected to the gym through a garage) and started my 2.5 miles of the faster pace outside.
It wasn’t raining much anymore by the time I got outside, and even though it was tough, I had no problem finishing my miles for an average pace (including the treadmill half mile) of 8:05. The rain did pick up though, and for the last half mile of the faster interval and throughout my entire 2 mile cool down, it was coming down in BUCKETS. I’ve never run in anything like that before – even the heaviest rain at the Richmond Marathon wasn’t THAT bad, but I saw no reason not to finish my entire cool down.
I regretted my clothing choice – very short shorts that stuck to me and looked like underwear, and a tank top that is only mesh on the sides and in the back. The front was not the most comfortable – but overall it wasn’t that bad! I had a visor on so rain didn’t get into my eyes, which is usually my worst problem when running in any rain, and I got the added benefit of feeling totally badass!
And it was my first speed-based run where I was actually on pace, so it helped my confidence quite a bit. I know it’s slightly skewed because I did have a break in the middle of the first mile, but I’ll take it!
Week 3: June 2 – June 8
- Monday – Refine
- Tuesday – 6 miles easy (9:56 pace)
- Wednesday – OFF
- Thursday – 2 mile warm up, 3 miles @
8:158:05, 2 mile cool down
- Friday – 10 mi
- Saturday –
Plyos + Hip ExercisesFAIL
- Sunday – OFF
Total (running) miles: 23
Summary of Week 2 running:
In addition to that rainy run, I also had a few other great workout last week. Monday’s Refine class was incredible – I really feel like I’m improving already. My push-ups are getting better and we used suspension straps which I love. It was a really fun time and I felt strong. My first weekday “easy” run was perfect – a beautiful day to run 6 miles, I felt euphoric the entire time! I ran my favorite route, past all these waterfront apartment buildings I am obsessed with, and into Liberty State Park along the boats. My first truly AMAZING run of this training cycle.
And Friday’s long run was also pretty much perfect – the weather could not have been any better, and I met a new running buddy who loves near me to run the first 3 miles with.
For the first time in Bellingham Bay training, I did have to skip a workout. I had plyos + hip exercises on my plan for Saturday, but I was up at 5am to leave for vacation and the day was totally nonstop right through to late at night. We visited friends, visited family and saw the Dave Matthews Band 2 set show.
I had no interest (and was way too exhausted and WAY too full/sick from a great breakfast) to make it up on Sunday – our first wedding anniversary! I know the plyos + hip exercises are what will prevent injury this time around, but part of training is knowing when it’s OK to take a break – and I gave myself the OK for just this time.
And now we’re in Cape Cod for a week celebrating our anniversary, lazing around, reading book after book, watching Orange is the New Black, eating Cape Cod potato chips and doing a whole lot of absolutely nothing (except on the days I have to run!). It’s relaxing and amazing and this right here is the extent of my computer using. So, see ya!
What’s worse to you: treadmill or downpour? Do you find it impossible to run faster on a treadmill? Does anyone know why that happens?