Growing up in Seattle, I am used to the rain. That’s not to say I like it, per se, but I am used to it and know how to let it roll off of me, so to speak. I would much prefer to run in the sunshine, but we don’t get a lot of that up here, so I use the rain to my advantage. It makes race day (assuming it’s nice weather) that much better, and it really does help with my training.
Running in the rain is challenging, and makes me feel like a bad-a$$ and a little crazy, too. I like looking at the array of facial features staring at me from passing cars. I can hear them now, “She is f’n crazy.” “Show off.” “What an idiot.” “Is she okay?” “I wish I had balls like her.” “Does she know it’s pouring?” “She’s going to die.” “Should I ask her if she needs a ride?” (AND, last time I ran in the pouring rain, someone actually DID pull over and ask me if I wanted a ride. I was dumbfounded, and didn’t really know what to say. Obviously, they weren’t a runner. I said, “No, thank you,” and continued to run in the torrential downpour).
Three tips to (try to) enjoy a wet run:
1. Keep your face dry. Having water roll down your face is not fun, in my opinion. I have been on the hunt to find the perfect hat to keep my face dry. So, at the expo for the Seattle half marathon in November, I was ogling all the cool Brooks gear (If you don’t know yet, I am a BIG fan of Brooks), and was haphazardly looking for a hat for race day. There was a 90% chance of rain, which meant a 100% chance of being wet. My eyes caught a hat with a really long bill, ideal for keeping the rain FAR away from my face. It was $20, which seemed a bit steep for a hat, especially since I can get a discount, but I purchased it anyway. It wasn’t until I got home that I noticed the bonus. It has a battery pack…which controls the LED light! Amazing. Not only is it a good rain hat, but also a good night running hat. And something else amazing? Online it is $35, so I scored BIG. I give Brooks’ Nightlife Hat, two thumbs UP! (especially for $20) Read more about my favorite running hats here.
2. Dry feet. It’s nearly impossible to avoid the puddles when it rains up here, and wet, soggy feet are NOT fun, especially on long run days. Not only is it squishy, but it makes blisters pop up too easily. The best socks in the world cannot keep your feet dry if it is pouring in Seattle. I discovered something very cool, however. I run on Brooks Ghost 4, which I love. Ghost GTX is the same shoe, only in Gore-Tex! How cool is that?? A waterproof shoe! A must have for a Seattle runner. And, it works, too! Read my Brooks Ghost GTX review here.
3. Rain Gear. After too many wet, cold runs, I broke down last month and finally bought a rain jacket. Really, this is the first time I have owned a running rain jacket (I live in Seattle. I don’t even own an umbrella). I searched high, I searched low, until I found (what I hope is) the perfect running rain jacket: REI Packable Fleet Jacket. Read my review here, along with tips on buying a rain jacket.
4. Don’t overdress. Make sure the layer you have on under your rain jacket is light, breathable and wicks sweat. The rain jacket will trap in a lot of heat, and you don’t want to overdress.
5. Keep electronics dry. If you run with an arm band for your iphone/ipod, wear it under your jacket to keep it dry.
6. Avoid trails, if possible. Puddles seem to linger longer on unpaved paths. Seek out a flat sidewalk, or run on the street if it’s void of traffic.
7. Change of clothes. If you’re driving somewhere for your run, bring a change of clothes for the drive home.
8. Avoid chafing. If it’s race day, and it’s rainy, follow the above clothing/shoe tips, and apply body glide everywhere (even your feet) to avoid chafing and blisters.
**If it’s warm (everyone’s definition of warm is different, mine is above 55) and raining, I wouldn’t recommend rain gear at all. It will weigh you down and overheat you. Hat and waterproof shoes and/or good socks should suffice.**
Keep your face and feet dry, and you should have a happy, but wet, run!
How do you stay dry on rainy runs?