Lessons from Running a Marathon in the Rain – Successes and Failures

Just FYI, I’ve had to edit this post to remove watermarked race images. Instead I’m leaving you to your imagination of what the photo would have looked like.

1. The folders of my neck
2. The bottom folds of my butt
3. The front of my ankle where the foot meets my leg

Those are just three things that chaffed that I didn’t even know could chafe.  The backs of my knees get an honorable mention.

I’ll spare you photos of the battle wounds and for the most part most have healed, but if there’s one lesson about running in the rain is that things will chafe.  Things will chafe that you didn’t think were possible to chafe, like my neck… I guess there’s enough neck fat for it to chafe. While I was prepared for the usual, I put Aquafor in all the spots I usually prepare, I should have just dunked myself into a tub of Aquafor instead.

There are plenty of other lessons learned and forgotten from the swim that was the Hyannis Marathon.  My race recap is up but here I’ll just share what I learned and how I prepared to run in the rain.

Good Idea – Trashbag + Different pair of shoes Pre-Race

Although this was not the outfit I ran in, I wore my trash bag and a pair of boots before race start.  Parking was 10 minutes away from number pick/race start and I stayed dry a little longer by strutting this trash bag and rain boots instead of my running out.  I saw a good amount of runners running in the trashbag but I ditched mine once the race started.

Bad Idea – Thinking I won’t get wet, You will get wet 

INSERT PHOTO OF MY TRYING TO WIPE MY HANDS ON MY WET RAIN JACKET

If you’re wondering what I’m trying to do in the photo, I’m trying to wipe my hands and dry them except there is nothing on me or near me that is even remotely dry.

Good Idea – Wearing wide-brimmed technical fabric hat

INSERT PHOTO OF ME SOAKED IN MY WET RAIN JACKET AND A LOVELY WHITE CAP COVERING MY FACE

That’s my holy, praise Jesus, I cannot believe I have reached the finish line face. I got that fashionable hat right after Boston Marathon, and didn’t open or test until race day. As wet and miserable as I was, I would have been a lot more miserable had the rain been hitting my face and eyes the entire time.  The brim protected my eyes and face for all 26.2 miles. Tony ran without one and said the rain hitting his face was very unpleasant.

Bad Idea – Not Bringing Ziploc Bags

I brought my phone and an extra pair of socks and stuffed them into my rain jacket that was supposed to be water proof.  It was for the first 2 hours, and then just like everything else and so were those extra pair of socks I wanted to use at mile 20 when my shoes started cutting into my ankles.  Ziploc bag would have probably made a better barrier for my socks and phone.

Good Idea/ Bad Idea – Layers

INSERT IMAGE OF TONY RUNNING IN WAY TO HEAVY SOAKED LAYERS. HE IS WEAR HEAVY SWEATPANTS THAT ONLY GOT HEAVIER WHEN WET.

Tony in beast mode during the race.  It’s very important to be careful on what you wear.  Any heavy or excess fabric you have will get wet and will be a lot heavier with water.  Unlike my other races, I am not wearing anything frilly like a skirt or even thicker tights because more fabric just means more water.

INSERT IMAGE OF RUNNING WITH JUST MY RAIN JACKET AND THIN PAIR OF TIGHTS

My rain jacket gets kinda stuffy so I only wore a t-shirt underneath for the race. I still haven’t decided if that was a good idea or a bad idea.  I got very cold during the second part and can’t decide if an extra layer, even if it was wet would have kept me warmer.  Rain makes the weather feel colder and being wet, with wet clothes make it hard for your body to warm up so I don;t know if more or less layers would have warmed me in wets and wind.

Good Idea – Bring an extra set of dry clothes

Bad Idea – Don’t leave it with Tony whom you can’t find post race

INSERT RANDOM PHOTO OF ME RUNNING ON THE CURB OF A ROAD RIGHT BESIDES TRAFFIC AND A UHAUL TRUCK.

This photo isn’t actually related to anything but I wanted to share it.  The guys behind me got serious beast faces on and running along a U-Haul truck in an open road in the rain wasn’t fun for anyone!

Good Idea – Dry your shoes but don’t use a dryer 

Mizuno with CatAfter the race I just took out the inserts and let them air dry.  A long time ago I made the mistake of putting the shoes in a dryer and that killed them.  I wore my shoes from Hyannis for a long run today and they felt good as normal!

50 Miler Training Week 8 – Taper Week

My recaps are coming later and later in the week; and although my memories are fading  I think getting them down in a weekly format will eventually help me next year if I ever try again.  I say this is my one and only 50 miler, but who knows.  I thought the same of my marathon last year.  If I actually end finishing my 50 miler successfully, I hope it leads as an example for anyone that’s worried about running that long of a race.  I have mileage goals, but I’ve also had set backs and 20 mile weeks.

Last week was my taper week for the Hyannis Marathon; however, with my long term goal, I try to hit 50 miles a week.  Therefore, I had to work hard to hit 25 miles and still take Saturday off before my marathon Sunday.

Monday – 6.4 Miles + 90 Minutes Bikram
Was a holiday so I celebrated President’s day with a Bikram session at Burlington Bikram. I wasn’t going to run but I felt restless due to skipping my long run over the weekend due to snow.  Since I kind of wasted time until the evening, I decided a good speed session was in order!  6.4 miles in 49 minutes  on the vanity (home) mill at incline 3 for a 7:49 pace.  All signs were pointing to a great race on Saturday.

Tuesday – REST
I took Tuesday off, I think I had a lot of errands to run, or maybe I was lazy.

Wednesday – 4 miles (AM) + 7 miles (PM) = 11 Miles
11 miles was probably a lot of miles for a taper week day, but I kept my 4 miles at an 8 minutes pace and my 7 miles on work treadmill at incline 2.  I never wrote down my pace in my log so I assume it was something slow and I didn’t bother to track it.

Thursday – 4 Miles
Work treadmill, Incline 3 in 34 miles 8:26 pace.Wanted to run longer, but kept myself short.

Friday – 3.1 Miles
This run was on incline 2 in 26 minutes. Things were questionable about whether the marathon was happening due to weather and I debated ending my taper. I decided to still focus on getting 25 miles before Sunday and let the odds be in my favor.

Saturday – Bikram 90 minutes
I debated running a mile to get to 25 miles before the race,but decided I wanted my legs fully rested for Sunday.  Instead took a bikram class with Tony and focused on stretching.  I might have skimped on a lot of the balance poses but I still felt great afterwards.

Sunday – 26.2 Miles Hyannis Marathon
My recap is up, but if you want the summary, it was 3:34:25, average 8:11 pace.  I had a strong half with 13.1 miles at 7:11 pace and a rough final 10K where I was almost crawling while shaking. I have a lot of bruises everywhere including the folds of my neck from the rain and wind!

Total Miles – 50.6 Miles

Total Feeling – I would like to avoid running anything longer than a half marathon in the rain again!  The scabs, and destruction of my running shoes aint worth it!  Otherwise, I felt even with 24 miles before race day, because I kept them short and at an easy pace, I felt pretty strong by Sunday.