Saturday was beautiful. Sunday, the day of my long run? Not so much. Why did I waste my Saturday on weeds???
I knew it was going to rain on Sunday, but not until the afternoon. So I got up early, ate, waited around for the requisite 2 - 3 hours, put on my shoes, the fuel belt, the gels, watch, sunglasses (purely for keeping the wind out of my eyes)... and headed out the door.
Temperature was perfect - in the 50's - so I was a little warm because I was anticipating rain at some point so I wore a long sleeve shirt. I was really happy about that shirt later on. The first few miles were great, pure bliss. Cool, no wind, pavement, no hills, not a lot of traffic. I love running in the spring.
Then I turned onto a dirt/gravel road. I've run this road before on my long runs. I like this road. It has a few rolling hills, lots of scenery. The horses were out. The farms all looking their Sunday best. None of the dogs chased me. People said hi. Oh, did I mention? They just gravelled the road. So this lovely surface that I was looking forward to? It was like slogging through a rocky beach. Okay, so that sucked, but I did it. It was only a zone 1 / 2 workout at that point so time was not an issue.
Turned onto the pavement again and, geez, where did all that traffic come from? Dodged potholes and cars intermittently for the next few miles, but in between that, just enjoyed the scenery. Then back onto dirt. Now, this was a good surface! Hard pack, not a lot of gravel, not a lot of traffic. Waved to the nice lady burning leaves. Chugging up the hill... hmmm... was that the wind at my back? Felt good, but it was getting a bit chilly and a little darker. I got to the top of the last hill I had decided to climb and realized the wind was going to be either in my face or a nice cross wind the rest of the way home. Well! Did I mention by this time I'd been at race pace for about 30 minutes and had another 30 to go? Race pace - up hill, into the wind, on dirt... and oh yes, it started to rain. HARD at times.
And you know what? I grinned. I laughed. I used to love running in the rain at college. Especially if I was upset about something. There is no better way to get over yourself than to go for a run in the rain. I have to admit though that running in the rain is a lot more fun when it's just for say 15 or 20 minutes. Not so much fun when it's twice that long and it's at the end of a LONG run. Oh well.
I got it done. And I kept telling myself that if I could run at race pace in these conditions, the marathon is going to be easy. I'm going to do it! I maintained close to race pace in crappy conditions so I can do it for the race. No problem! Can't wait! Oregon, here I come!