Earlier this week I began fretting over the weather for today’s Carmel (Half) Marathon. Every day I looked at the weather app hoping it would change, but it never did. So I posted this picture on social media asking my running friends for advice on what to wear.
I got some good tips and I was directed to this article. After all the suggestions about wearing a hat and not chafing and throwing on a trash bag before the start, it ended with this:
“The hardest part of running in the rain is often just getting started. Once you begin running and warm up, you may find that you actually enjoy it. Running in the rain will make you feel like a hard-core badass. As you slosh through the puddles and the rain is hitting your face, you’re building your mental toughness and realizing that you can handle any challenge that comes your way.” (emphasis mine)
I decided that I would take the hard-core badass approach and knock this race out. And I did!
Here’s a quick recap for those that are interested:
Once again my friend Laura and I met up at the beginning. We tried to stay dry as long as possible, but eventually we had to head to the corral. Due to the weather, the corrals weren’t really a thing. Everyone just piled in and hoped for the best. We were able to the find the 2:15 pacer and joined a small group hoping to finish around that time.
After the first 1.5 or so, I threw off my trash bag. It was starting to get steamy inside and the rain had let up. I knew it was a risk, since it would probably start raining again, but I heat up pretty fast and staying in a trash bag for the whole run was not going to work for me.
The first half of the race was amazing! The rain stopped, it was cool, very few hills and I comfortably stayed with the pacer. I was feeling really good about how the race was going.
Then there were some hills. I had no idea there were hills in Carmel, Indiana. I mean, comparatively, they probably are just slight inclines, but when running they feel like HILLS! I started to lose the pacer around mile 7 or 8 — this was about the time that it started sprinkling. I was okay with that because I was getting hot — the rain felt nice. Until it didn’t.
It started raining harder and the wind started blowing. Running up a hill with the wind and rain in my face was not fun. By this point my shoes were soaked and water was continuously dripping off the brim of my hat. I didn’t want to keep going. But then I recognized Kevin, one of my former youth from a long time ago, and he said, “Keep going!” And I said, “Okay!” So, I kept going.
There were cars lined up along the other side road. I’m sure they loved being stopped by a race on a Saturday morning. One guy rolled down his window and yelled, “Rock it!” That made me smile and the feeling of that smile on my face gave me a boost of energy. I kept smiling, sort of, and picked up the pace a bit.
Soon I hit the 11 mile marker. Now, before the race began, back when we were dry inside a warm building, my friend mentioned that she’s going to do a full marathon at some point. I was clear that is NOT on my bucket list, but as I’m wont to do, I thought about it. I thought about it until I saw that 11 mile marker and then thought: No. No. Nonononono NO! So, in case you were wondering: No, I will not be running a 26.2 mile race. 🙂
I caught a glimpse of Laura ahead of me and it looked like she could use some encouragement, so I picked up my pace a bit to catch up with her. We ran the last 1.6 miles together and it was good for both of us. Even when I’m that close, it’s easy for me to stop and walk because I’m.just.so.tired. But, I knew Laura needed me to keep running and that was all I needed to keep me moving in a forward direction.
This was my first time running this race, so I had no idea where the end was going to be, but finally — FINALLY! — the end was in site and I turned on my turbo booster. I love running super fast at the end. That’s the only time I ever run that fast, but it makes me feel like a rockstar, or should I say, a badass!
I didn’t finish with the 2:15 group but all things considering, I had an amazing race! In fact, this was my third best time for all 16 half marathons I’ve run over the last seven years!
I don’t have any huge revelations or ah-has to share. I ran in less than ideal weather and came out stronger, I know that. I keep doing these races as a reminder to myself that I can do hard things. And, it’s nice to think of myself as a badass — not a word I’d normally use to describe myself, but today I think it applies perfectly.