Are you a fair weather fan (of running)?

4 May

I’m inspired to write this post today by the completely erratic weather we’ve been having here in South Louisiana, as well as all my running Twitter peeps saying its raining all over the country.

Last week at Happy’s Running group, it was 95 degrees outside. Last night it was 55 degrees and barely misting. (What is going on here? Winter Louisiana weather in May??) Happy’s Running group usually boasts about 150 or so runners each week. All I’m going to say is this…last night’s turn out was weak, y’all. WEAK. There were maybe 50 runners there. Apparently everyone thought that because it dropped below 60 degrees and the sun decided to hide that SURELY a snow storm must have been a-comin’.

Where is the dedication, people!? 🙂

The lowest temperature I have ever run in was a “balmy” 18 degrees. Granted, it took me looking like this…

It was cold. VERY cold.

It was cold. VERY cold.

…but, dang it, I was out there! At the time I was running with my Saturday Morning Run Group and I couldn’t let them down and not show up. That run was cold…and it sucked…but it made a beast out of me.

The second worst running weather I’ve ever experience was last fall when training for my marathon. It was an overcast Tuesday night and two running buddies and I headed out for an easy 13 miles. Everything was going fine…you know, until mile 12 or so.

At first it was just a rolling thunder. No worries, we were only a mile away so we’d have plenty of time to get back, right? WRONG. Out of nowhere came a torrential rainstorm monsoon. It was raining so hard and we were running a stretch of paved trail near Furman University…that wasn’t well lit. The rain was coming down so hard and it was so dark that I couldn’t see anything. It was disorienting and scary. Lesson learned? Don’t leave home for a long training run without giving my trusty Weather Channel iPhone app one last glance.

But you know what else I learned from these experiences? I learned that contrary to what I believed, I wasn’t actually going to freeze to death and that I wasn’t made of sugar and would melt in the rain. I’m not saying I LOVE cold weather running, but I’ll do it if it means staying on my training plan. And for rainy running, I’ve just gotten used to it. If nothing else, it changes things up and makes the trees and grass smell fresh.

What act of nature have you defeated in your runs? Is there any type of weather you refuse to run in? Does the weather outside act as the determining factor on whether you will or won’t train today?

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16 Responses to “Are you a fair weather fan (of running)?”

  1. tavalava May 4, 2011 at 12:37 PM #

    Well I lived in TX for 4 years in undergrad and now I live in FL so I’ve somewhat mastered running in heat (humidity, not so much). But last winter I went home to Virginia for the winter break and was training for the Disney Marathon. It was in the 40s but I like running in cold weather. I feel like I can run farther and my legs just feel better. Anyways. There was a winter storm coming through and meteorologists were projecting that the area we lived in would get at most 2in but probably just a dusting. Well, when it finally stopped snowing and there was a FOOT (off much Mr. Meteorologist??) of snow in the ground I wondered how I was going to train. It was the worst possible time to lose training days. So I laced up my shoes and went for a run. It wasn’t so much a run as it was several miles of high knees with the occasional slip and slide but I didn’t.

    I won’t run in rain however. Mist, a light drizzle, maybe. But not rain, because in FL that rain is always accompanied by it’s side kick lightning and I’d rather not test mother nature and she if she can fry a moving object.

  2. Tim Hutchinson May 4, 2011 at 12:43 PM #

    Katie,

    My sentiments exactly. If we waited for perfect running weather around here, we would only run for about 30 days a year. The rest would be too cold or too hot.

    Timbeaux

  3. Julie Guarducci May 4, 2011 at 1:47 PM #

    One of my very first runs (a month or so into running) it was a bone chilling 18 degrees, that was without the windchill. After mile 1.5 I was pulling the gloves off but my mask (very much like yours) stayed on for another mile or so.

    It was dedication and determination that got my behind out of bed that morning.

    This past Sunday at OKC Memorial Marathon it was raining, cold and 20 mph winds and yes, I ran! Was I miserable? You bet but I felt good afterwards.

    :o)

    • katieRUNSthis May 5, 2011 at 9:16 AM #

      Cold, raining, AND wind?? YOU are a champion, Miss! I’m just not down for that. This Louisiana girl can handle hot and humid like a beast, but in the cold, I struggle. I do it, but I struggle.

  4. Neese May 4, 2011 at 6:03 PM #

    I love that I’m all up in this blog post! Miss you so much! Rain, snow, cold, monsoons, kicking animals in the dark! Let’s get. it. done!

  5. Michelle May 4, 2011 at 7:54 PM #

    A month or so ago I went out for a run and it started thundering/lightening at mile 2 from a distance. Thinking I still had plenty of time I kept going and by my turn around at mile 2.5 I have never been more scared! I made it back before anything major hit — but it was pouring by mile 4. It was both the scariest and most fascinating run I have ever been on! I learned the same lesson as you — always check the iPhone.

    • katieRUNSthis May 5, 2011 at 9:15 AM #

      There really can be something sort of exhilarating about running in the rain…a storm, even. But lightning, no thanks. That’s just not safe. Definitely checking the iPhone! 🙂

  6. Kasey May 4, 2011 at 10:27 PM #

    I’ve run when it was-8 and learned that contacts can freeze. Now I do hit the treadmill if it’s below 10 or freezing rain. I’m ok with snow as long as it isn’t too icy. It takes some bad weather to pick the gym over fresh air!

    • katieRUNSthis May 5, 2011 at 9:14 AM #

      Shut up! Your contacts FROZE?? That’s CRAZY cold! Okay, I thought 16 degrees was cold. I don’t think I’ve ever even felt anything in the single digits. My body is NOT designed to handle that. I’ll take 97 degrees ANY day! 🙂

  7. Scott May 5, 2011 at 7:28 AM #

    I live in Michigan and if I only ran in good weather i’d run maybe three months out of the year. Since I refuse to run a single mile on a treadmill I am out there no matter the weather.

    I have run in thunderstorms, snow storms, freezing rain, single digits, and a tornado watch. I have work layered gloves to keep my hands warms, water proof socks to keep the snow at bay. I have had my sweat soaked hat frozen stiff and icicles on my eyelashes.

    I guess I haven’t yet found weather that I won’t run in. I would rather run 7 miles in an ice storm than one mile on a treadmill.

    • katieRUNSthis May 5, 2011 at 9:13 AM #

      Okay, I can handle cold…and I can handle rain…but cold AND rain…NO THANK YOU. This Louisiana girl is NOT used to that! 🙂

  8. eattoruntoeat May 5, 2011 at 12:34 PM #

    No matter what you can not out run that green spot on the radar, especially in 40 degree weather. After 8 miles, I was shivering and took me 2 hours to get warm again.

  9. Giovanni May 5, 2011 at 2:38 PM #

    I ALWAYS run, no mather what weather. Sometimes I see people behind their windows who propably think I’m, wel, just NUTS. I just keep telling myself, this is gonna pay-off in the spring/summer races. Out here we don’t get a lot of rediculously high summer temperatures, so my eyes really opened up when I did some 5k’s last year in Florida. Out here I do 1,5 hour runs without taking a drink with me. Well I guess that’s just not possible in other parts of the world. We all just need to remind ourselves to be responsible about our bodies. (Here me talking, injured with an overtrained knee, what do I know). Oh yeah and we runners are just betterfasterstronger aren’t we 😉

  10. Eric May 5, 2011 at 2:44 PM #

    living in rochester ny, growing up in buffalo ny, means if you stop for the weather you wont do much running… i like the challenge…..

  11. steena May 6, 2011 at 10:15 AM #

    After coming out of an injury, I promised myself never to be a whiner about the weather before a run. I caught myself this week doing it, but I’m back to my eff-the-weather attitude. I can’t believe you put a ski mask on for 18 degrees, hahaha, you should try a Wisconsin winter!

    • katieRUNSthis May 6, 2011 at 10:17 AM #

      Ha! No I should NOT try Wisconsin weather. I can tell you right this minute, without having to try it, that I would NOT be cut out for it. 🙂 My body loves warm and humid! 🙂 Okay, so I’m a sissy. At least I OWN my sissyness. 🙂

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