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Run Where the Races Are


When I started training for my first half marathon in January, I was all treadmill all the time. I would wake up early, peek outside at the cold darkness and happily dial up the previous evening’s Daily Show and Colbert Report. Each week I would tell myself that races are run outdoors and to race well I needed to run where the races are…and then I would check the temperature and see crazy things like 10 below zero. Sometimes Mother Nature would throw me a bone and I would head out, only to be chased back to my treadmill the next morning by more sub-zero temperatures.

Slowly, ever so slowly this year it seemed, spring happened and I learned that great runs happen in 50-60 degree weather. I was also reminded of how much more I enjoy running outside. Fresh air truly does wonders for the mind and body. My treadmill has been collecting dust pretty much ever since.

And yet, I’m still a big baby. Case in point – my training program called for a seven mile run on Sunday and it started to rain the exact moment I opened the door to start my run. I immediately balked at the idea of 7 miles in the rain (plus warmup AND cool down). As I weighed my options just inside the door, I found myself balking at the idea of seven miles on the mill. Luckily, Mike was there to goad me into heading outside (a move he immediately tried to take back for fear I would come home soaked…and angry with him for talking me into it).

The rain was pretty light, and the temperature was in the low sixties. The warmup was a bit chilly, but it wasn’t too bad. I managed to forget my water bottle AND get myself lost in my own neighborhood, so the rain was almost a highlight. As I finished up my last couple of miles, I found myself feeling grateful for the experience. My first long run in the rain was more or less on the books, and it wasn’t a big deal. I’m sure there will still be plenty of days (called winter) that will send me begging for my treadmill, but in the future I don’t think I’ll let a little rain get in my way of a good run.

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