Friday, February 28, 2014

Sleet Don't Hail Me Now

Madi & me running the 2011 OKC Half-Marathon
Title Pun.

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Anyway.
I've been very fortunate in my short racing "career" so far with mostly mild weather conditions on race day. And in my typical slightly cocky, but mostly confident way, I've been writing and saying things like "Bring It Little Rock!" leading up to this race.   Well, looks like LR might do just that.  I think we're gonna get a dose of less than optimal weather conditions for the race on Sunday.

Madison and me, ghosts before the race
You can't quite see the full hour-by-hour forecast yet, but I think it's definitely going to be raining, with temps in the 40's or 50's.  That would be just fine.  But as the cold weather front that's supposed to engulf most of the Midwest comes through later in the day ... temps could drop, rain could turn to sleet, and normal body temperatures could turn to hypothermia.  I've ran in sleet many times ... that's not fun, but doable.  But if it suddenly turns to hail ... that's a problem!  Although hail, of course, typically doesn't last very long.  So I'm pretty much bracing for anything ... but mostly being cold and wet for 3 hours.

I actually went out and bought a rain coat yesterday.  Michael said it was a rain suit, since it also came with pants ... we actually argued about the coat/suit semantic for about an hour.  Not kidding.  But I'm actually considering wearing this COAT for the whole race.  I've never done that before, but I really want to keep as much water off of my upper body as possible.  I'm probably gonna take about 3 or 4 different clothing scenarios and figure it out morning of.

I can't imagine it will be as bad as the 2011 Oklahoma City Half-Marathon I ran with my daughter ... and soon to be mother of grandchild #2!  It was Madis's first long race and she did great!  But as Michael, Madi, and I were rushing to the staring line, it was literally raining sideways.  SIDEWAYS!!!  The wind was howling, it was pouring, and it was not great.  The wind died down a little after the gun went off, but it rained most of the race.  I felt so bad for Madison.  She'd trained so hard and it was her big day.  But she's my daughter ... so do you think it slowed her down ... nope!  She killed that race and did great!  Ain't a little rain gonna stop this little teacher!  Actually both of my girls did great, but we were all ready to get inside when we were done.

Madi & Michael freezing
It was 45 degrees that day, but I just remember being soooo cold during and after the race.  Michael said it was pretty much the coldest she's ever been.  When you're rain drop saturated, with 20 mph winds swirling, it feels much colder than 45 degrees.  Occasionally I'll randomly run into a marathon who was at that race, and in the course of conversation they always say, "Remember 2011 OKC ... oh man, that was the worst!"

So I'm trying to brace my body for another similar OKC experience in LR this weekend.  The only other really cold marathon I've ran was Mississippi Blues, where I think the temps hovered around a balmy 15 degrees for most of the race, with an 8 degree windchill.  THAT was the coldest I've ever been.  And I know this weekend won't be anything like that.

With any luck at all, I'll finish up with temps in the 50's.  And a a little rain never hurt anyone.  But unless the forecast changes drastically, it's interesting that this will make two straight marathons we've had to run in the rain.

Honestly, I kinda pride myself on being somewhat of a "tough-guy" when it comes to this stuff.  I've put my body through some pretty intense training over the years, and don't back down from a challenge.  So I guess weekends like this are where you put up or shut up.  Hmm, I guess this is where I'm supposed to say BRING IT LITTLE ROCK!!!
... be great today!

17 comments:

  1. Going to be pouring and windy for the PHX marathon tomorrow too (it hasn't rained here for 70+ days). And we'll be running straight into the wind the entire time. I'm perversely looking forward to it. I have a Seattle Sombrero rain hat, it has an adjustable chin strap so it can't blow off your head. Have fun!

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  2. Good luck - sounds like we'll both potentially be in challenging conditions!

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  3. OH Jim, I really didn't want to hear about OKM being wet and cold. I'm doing OKM this year. After last year at LRM we decide to do a marathon do a later in the year marathon. I hope it turns out good for us. Last year it was cold on sat and sun started out chilly but ended up being a great day to run. Good Luck this wkend.

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    1. It should be fine for you Penny, I think we just had weird year

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  4. Better chilly and rainy than HOT in my book. At least if the wind isn't too bad your body heat keeps you fairly warm until you stop. Hope your weather conditions end up being favorable! Good luck!

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    1. Eh, I think you share the opinion of most Kate, but I would MUCH rather have it closer to 100 degrees

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  5. I'd rather it be cold and wet than hot and humid - there is nothing much you can do about that!
    When it is cold and wet I swear by running in my Icebreaker gear which is made from merino wool and retains heat even when wet - it makes a big difference. I even have Icebreaker undies to keep my glutes warm!
    Good luck and run great!

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    1. Thanks Sherry, you should be an Icebreaker spokesperson, it sounds like great gear!

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  6. Good luck on your race! I look forward to reading a recap about it. I once ran a whole marathon wearing a huge black garbage bag. Ya, that was the pits. I know exactly what your wife is talking about saying it was the coldest she'd ever been. It takes a LOOOOOONG time to warm up too. You and Micheal are awesome and darling and I enjoy your writings. Do great!

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    1. Thanks Susette, you're one of our favorites too. I'm sure we'll get through it.

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  7. Can't stand cold and rain together. Good luck and hang in there - as I know you will.

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    1. Thanks - hopefully the wind will stay fairly calm.

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  8. I do so love a good pun!!! I'm queen of crappy hot weather races. In 2011-2012, I ran an unexpectedly mid 80's marathon in September in New Hampshire, an unexpectedly mid 80's with 100% humidity and fierce wind marathon in MS in November, an unexpectedly high 80's marathon in Atlanta in March, and Boston 2012 (90's in April). So that's been sort of my thing. I like to run long races in hot weather, apparently. Sleet? Rain? Snow? Not much of that. Good luck to you and hope you can get the wardrobe right for the race.

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    1. Thanks, yeah - those sound like some pretty crappy running conditions - but I always prefer warm over cold, just not 80's w/100% humidity for a race ... yikes!

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  9. I've done a lot of cold rain runs. If you are anywhere under 50f and raining, you might keep the jacket on the whole time. Another scenario to consider is having a couple of points where you have someone waiting with a dry bag, shirt, hat, shoes/socks. It might seem like a time waste, but if it is a non-stop 40f rain, taking a minute to change might be worth it. Don't forget to lube the sensitive areas. Rain makes the friction worse.
    Wishing you the best!

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  10. Great advice, thanks Raina - BodyGlide is my friend!

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  11. My last marathon was in the rain. But honestly I hardly noticed it. When your period comes on race day and you get a migraine aura mid-race, the rain is the least of your worries.

    Good luck!

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