If you think running in the rain sucks...
I'm always fortunate when I visit Vancouver. The last two times I was there for the BMO, we had beautiful sunny days, with just enough breeze to make it bearable. Sure, rain was part of the vacation stay, but it was something I could live with.
Then it happens. One of my Vancouverite friends will hit me with the “You don’t know what it’s like man! The gray, the dreariness of it all… the rain is BRUTAL”. Even as I look at this week’s forecast for Vancouver, without a sunny day in sight, I say “BRING ON THE RAIN!”
I love where I live, but the biggest challenge of training in Edmonton has to be our weather. “Inconsistent” is an understatement, but it does offer its own unique benefits to a marathon runner.
For most of my training, we have had some bitterly cold temperatures. As a team, the rule is that anything below a base temperature of -20, and we move it inside to one of the local indoor running tracks. However, -19 with a -29 wind chill factor? That’s fair game to get out and take on the terrain.
Weeee!!!!! That's pure ice... downhill!
Yesterday was one of the hardest training runs I’ve had in 3 years. Last week, after months of snow and ice being packed down and settling in, we got a nice little heatwave, with temperatures going up to 10 one day.
However, as a longtime Albertan, I knew it couldn’t last. Sure enough, the night before our training session the next morning, we had what’s called a “flash freeze” in the area. Toss in some rain, and the entire city of Edmonton became a skating rink.
What measured out to be about 9 KM felt like 20, as getting a sure footing was nearly impossible. I have tried strap-on cleats before, and while they help on the snowy terrain, I never found them helpful on ice – plus they seem to do a number on my feet in general.
While grueling, there is (as there usually is) a bright side. Running on this crazy terrain can make for some great development of stabilizer muscles. Plus for those who have trouble pacing themselves, the extra focus spent on not falling on one's own ass tends to lend itself well to maintaining a regular speed.
I know there are many Vancouverites who may not believe me when I say I welcome the rain with open arms. To them, I simply say that I've never bruised a buttcheek from slipping on a puddle. Wheter sunny or damp, I welcome whatever Mother Nature offers us for May 5th. Except for the wind.
Y’all can keep the wind.
What's your preferred running weather? Leave a comment below! Thanks!!!