It was not supposed to rain until 5am. That’s what the forecast said, I checked it twice. I took off on my run just before midnight knowing I’d beat the rain. It was a bit warm (where I live this is the hottest time of the year, which sucks – heat is my sworn enemy when it comes to training, and it affects my running the most, but at least it was a bit breezy.) So when I went by a sprinkler I noticed how refreshing it was.
A couple minutes later I felt another cooling spritz of water. Except…wait…there’s no sprinkler here. And hey, I’ve run far past the reach of a sprinkler and I’m still….getting…wet. You have to understand that in Southern California training in the rain is an absolute rarity so it took a minute for what was happening to sink in.
For the first hour or so it was actually kind of nice, it was a gentle cooling sprinkle of rain. Then I had to duck into a restroom (hydration FTW!) and when I came back out it was raining significantly harder. Getting rained on wasn’t too bad but then I made the turn on my loop and suddenly the wind was blowing toward me which was blowing the rain into my eyes which I could have lived without. As I picked up the pace for a run interval I realized that going faster meant that I was basically driving my eyeballs into the rain. Again, this is not a crisis and people living in other places go through this all the time, but it was all basically a new experience for me – I think I’ve dealt with rain maybe twice in all of my training. I think I’d rather be rained on than train in the heat, but I’d have to do more running in the rain to know for sure.
The sprinklers were still on and it turns out that one of them was malfunctioning so that instead of spraying a fine mist over the grass, it was just dumping water onto the running path creating a deep puddle. I know that now, but I didn’t know it at the time because the low light made it seem like there was just a bit of water on the path. And that’s how my shoes and socks got completely soaked.
As I’ve told y’all before, I like to listen to audiobooks about ultra endurance athletes while I train because it makes me feel better that what they are doing sucks worse than what I’m doing. Because I’d listened to so many accounts of ultrarunners I had heard of the “joys” of running with wet shoes and socks. Though I would have preferred to not have the experience personally, I’m glad I only had to do it for a couple of hours and not for days at a time. It was kind of nice to finish a run and be freezing cold instead of burning hot.