Wow, how time flies. I can’t believe Memorial Day has come and gone. After this week, I have completed 4 months of base-building and preliminary training for the Chicago Marathon. I have run 3 races (after this weekend, 4), PR’d several times, met a lot of great people, and realized that any schedule can accommodate this type of training. It’s honestly all a bit nerve-wracking when you begin to consider that you’re that much closer to the mother of all races, the marathon. My countdown app on my phone keeps ticking down to zero. Just 130 days until the big day.
This weekend I did a whole lot of nothing and a whole lot of something at the same time. My boss surprised everyone in the office with a company-wide e-mail at 11 am on Friday saying that we were free to leave around 3 pm to start the holiday weekend. Great surprise! Manny and I walked downtown and did a bit of vacation shopping. I got a cute cover-up to wear poolside, grey-slip on shoes to wear through airport security, and (finally) a pair of aviators that actually fit my face. Manny was able to find some board shorts at Nordstrom Rack too. That’s really all we’ll need once we get there right?…Bathing suits?! Yes! Friday night was random and fun. Manny and I were feeling uninspired when it came to going out that night so we decided to have people over. Our friends never seem to disappoint–it’s always a good time when you get people together that know how to have a good time. Needless to say, we didn’t get to bed at a decent time and I knew my long distance run the following day would probably not become a reality.
…And it didn’t. I spent all day Saturday lounging in the apartment, watching movies, reading a book, and thinking about absolutely nothing. Apparently it was needed because I didn’t get that ‘cabin fever’ I typically get after spending the whole day in the house (minus walking the dog briefly, of course). I was feeling a bit guilty about not going for my run that day, but I knew I’d rather be rested, hydrated, and motivated to have a good run than slosh through it toward home.
Well, I guess you get what’s coming to you because I spent Sunday morning trying to time my run perfectly in order to avoid severe thunderstorms. After checking the radar and fueling up, I left the house at noon hoping to finish before the really bad part of the storm was to hit at 2 pm. I knew I’d be running through the rain, but I honestly didn’t mind. I love running in the rain and didn’t want to wait to run in the evening (or take a chance on the rain continuing throughout the day). Five minutes after I left the house, the thunderstorm warning sirens sounded. My plan was to run at least 12 miles–approximately 2 mile warm-up, 3 sets of 5ks at an increasing pace, and a 2 mile cooldown. Looking back on it, 12 miles was probably a bit overzealous considering I have another half marathon this weekend. And luckily, Mother Nature knew what was up because I ran into torrential rain just about halfway through the run. This was not a sprinkle–a sprinkle I can handle. I can probably handle even a steady rain and feel pretty good. But this, this was something else entirely. Rain was hitting me sideways, puddle jumping was no longer worthwhile, and I felt like my body weighed 10 pounds more because of all the rain soaked into my clothes. There were rivers flowing across the sidewalk on the Lakeshore Trail and I knew it probably wasn’t wise to go the entire distance, so I made a beeline for the Roosevelt station to find shelter. To get there, I ran under the overpass near Museum Campus. There must have been 100+ people standing there waiting for the rain to stop so that they could spend the day at the museum. And for some reason, right then, the adrenaline kicked in. I took my headphones out of my ears, started to high kick it through the “river” I was running through, and shouted :
“DID YOU KNOW IT’S RAINING?!”
These people must have thought I was absolutely insane. But I kind of like that feeling. I looked like a wet dog after that run, but I honestly could care less. It was invigorating and motivating to know that I’m still crazy enough to run like a maniac. And besides, the rain made me run faster.