A few weeks back while I was slogging through the frost, I noticed several flyers for the first annual Rain Run. The tagline read “Seattle doesn’t run from the rain, we run in the rain”. Cute, right? I looked it up when I got home but I saw the date. Plans for this weekend were still somewhat up in the air so I shelved the idea. My weekend plans fell through and I was left with 10 miles on my calendar. Ten miles that I was absolutely dreading. I didn’t know if I was going to be able to drag myself out of bed. And then I remembered the Rain Run.
Okay so I was dreading 10 miles and yet here I was considering 13.1? That’s crazy talk! But with 10 miles I would be out by myself. With 13.1 I would be out with other people, with spectators, and with course support. Plus it didn’t start until 9 a.m. and there was a medal and a cupcake at the end. With SPRINKLES!! Sign me up!
I went to the website to register and guess what? First words I saw were “Sold Out”. But then I kept reading – they were sold out, however they applied to change their permit and were still taking registrations. Whew!
Morning broke Saturday with rain. So far the Rain Run was living up to the hype! I was able to use the real bathroom and then lined up. It was a small race (the original cap was 300) and most people looked like “real” runners. The course limit was 3 and a half hours so I knew I was good to finish, even if I was last. I kept repeating that to myself. Just run your race, let the details take care of themselves.
And we were off! We circled around the start line before heading out on the Sammamish River Trail.
The rain kept coming and coming. I played leapfrog with a few people for a while before I either pulled away from them or they pulled away from me and I was out there basically by myself. I could see people in front of me, but wasn’t able to bridge the gap. I settled into my rhythm.
I had an internal goal of getting to mile 5 before the fast runners passed me on their way to the finish line. I didn’t quite make it. I had just passed mile 4 when I was someone coming towards me, with a bicycle escort and moving extremely fast. Well hello Mr. First Place. He was moving! I clapped for him as he sped past me. He had a pretty decent lead on second place.
I kept plodding along, cheering for the first place woman and trying to smile and nod at the other racers. The closer I got to the turn around, the more friendly the other racers became and we would exchange smiles and good jobs.
And then there it was! The turn around! The volunteers were extremely nice and handed us water. (There were only three water stops, which is fine except when you are coming off a Disney race where it seems there are water stops every time you turn the corner.)
Of course, one of my favorite things about the turn around is seeing that I am not in last place and there were a decent number of people still behind me. My least favorite thing about the turn around was the blast of wind that greeted me. Holy wind!! It was brutal!
I was passed by a few people, but on the other hand I set my sights on a few people and picked them off one by one.
The combo of the rain and wind was really starting to get to me. My run intervals became shorter (this is a pattern lately, one that I need to reverse). I stopped at the last water stop and drank a couple of cups of water before mustering my strength. The last water stop as at 11 miles. What’s another 2 miles? Especially when there is a cupcake waiting for me?
My run intervals varied in length – usually between 1 and 2 minutes. My goal was always to run at least 1 minute, longer if possible. Sometimes it happened. Sometimes it didn’t.
I knew I was going to be close to a PR, I also knew had I not given up, I might have been able to break my secret goal of 2:45. But it was not in the cards.
One foot after the other until the finish line came in sight. You’ve got this, you can do this, not much longer, you’ve got this – I chanted over and over to myself. And then I was across the finish line!!
The medal is pretty awesome if I do say so myself – in the shape of a rain drop and sparkly! I got my umbrella and my cupcake (yum!) and dragged my sopping wet self back over to my car.
As I was driving home, dreaming of an extremely long, hot shower, I noticed it was no longer raining, and the sun was trying to peak through. Figures! But the aptly named Rain Run lived up to its name (and it could have been much worse rain).
My new PR is 2:47.09!! So close to 2:45, yet so far…