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.

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?

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