Rain, rain, and more rain.
I headed over to Cheslen Preserve to get in 25 miles this morning. The forecast was for rain all morning long and the weatherman sure nailed it. It never got to a full downpour, but it rained consistently the entire time I was out. The temperature was right around 50 degrees so I tossed on my new NJ Ultra raincoat, which worked like a charm. I started out wearing a pair of knit gloves, but was able to take them off after a mile or two. It took me a while of running in rain, however I’ve finally figured out to dress much warmer than I normally do in order for me to be comfortable. Long runs are hard enough without adding in hypothermia.
I wasn’t feeling it when I started out. Or rather I was feeling too much of it. For some reason, my left calf and hamstring was very tight. Like so tight I started considering whether to cut the run short at some point. The first couple miles were 60 to 90 seconds slower than the last long run I did there where I averaged just over 10 minute miles. Okay then. . . Not the run I was expected, but then again I end up with the unexpected more times than not.
I was fearful that my 11 minute pace would quickly disintegrate into 12 minutes followed by 13s and then the dreaded shuffle/walk (shalk?). And just when I thought that was going to happen, everything loosened up and I was able to maintain pace. I never sped up to what I had done during the last training cycle, but I didn’t get slower like I feared and I had an enjoyable time running around in the rain. Kinda like I remember when I was a little kid. Though I don’t stomp in the puddles with quite the same enthusiasm.
I have no idea why I was so much slower than before. It may have been the wet grass I was running through. My legs might be a little tired from a rather hard run earlier in the week. Or maybe my sleep wasn’t quite as restful as I thought it was. Regardless of the cause, it was good to practice taking runs as they come and not forcing matters.
Because the moral of the story is it doesn’t always get worse.