fitness · running

Do you run in the rain?

Image description: Wet concrete ground with reflection of rail, some leaves, and Tracy's feet in running shoes.
Image description: Wet concrete ground with reflection of rail, some leaves, and Tracy’s feet in running shoes.

On Friday morning I had a dilemma. I was in Chicago, which is a great running city. But it was raining, and not just a little bit. I considered my three options: 1. skip it; 2. run on the treadmill; 3. go out in the rain anyway.

I had no intention of skipping my run. After a day in the car on Thursday, my body wanted to move. So option #1 was off the table. Treadmills are for the worst winter weather and it’s not winter. So that ruled out option #2. Besides that, I’m feeling really motivated with the 10K training these days and I didn’t want to miss my tempo run or slog it out on the treadmill.  So I head out.

At the beginning, it wasn’t raining all that hard. Just a little misty drizzle, really. It was kind of cool, which felt so good. I usually associate summer running in Chicago with heat and humidity. It was a pleasant change, actually, to run in the cooler wet weather.

But at about the half way point the gentle drizzle turned a bit harder. There were very few people out even before that. As I turned onto the lake shore pathway, it started to pour. But I was determined to do my tempo run and maintain the pace as best as I could despite the rain. When I turned around at the halfway point, I discovered I had been running in a tail wind. Conditions got a bit more unpleasant at that stage, but there wasn’t a lot I could do about it.

Image description: rainy day with low mist, tall buildings in background, concrete lakeside path with painted lines, lake on the right with sailboats on moorings.
Image description: rainy day with low mist, tall buildings in background, concrete lakeside path with painted lines, lake on the right with sailboats on moorings.

By then I was soaked right through. But I felt really good because it was pretty temperate, and the rain kept me from over heating. On my way back up Michigan Avenue towards the hotel, I stopped in at Starbucks to get a soy latte. That’s when it became really clear that I was totally wet from head to toes. I stood in line dripping in my running gear while everyone else was all dressed for work, picking up their coffee on the way.

When I got my latte, it was still raining really hard, but by then it didn’t matter anymore. So I just took a few sips so I wouldn’t lose any on the way back, headed outside, and ran back to the hotel (the Omni). Both times I went running on the weekend, I was offered a cold bottle of water when I walked in the front door. And on the rainy day, I was also handed a nice fresh towel so I could dry myself off.

I’m really glad I decided to go for it and not skip my run or do the treadmill. It’s a good reminder that when the temperatures are reasonable and it’s not an electrical storm, running in the rain is kind of pleasant.

Do you run in the rain?

4 thoughts on “Do you run in the rain?

  1. I LOVE running in the rain, it’s actually my favourite running weather – the harder the better! I’ve never understood why though, it just gives me this sense of elation and it doesn’t feel like such hard work. Maybe it’s the cooling effect like you mentioned

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love running in the rain – when it’s not freezing rain – because I always overheat. Once you’re wet ‘comes a point when a body can’t get any wetter’ in the immortal words of Andie McDowell in Four Weddings and a Funeral! 😄The trick is not to stop for the latte until you’re done and you can truly enjoy it.

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  3. Running in the rain during summer is excellent, especially if it’s not an especially sloppy trail or time/performance based run. I’ll stay in and opt for the treadmill if it’s going to be really hard rain or there’s lightning though.

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