I believe I entered a new realm of hard-coreness this past weekend. No, I didn’t run any farther than usual, I didn’t PR in spectacular fashion, and I definitely didn’t wear compression socks. But I did run in possibly the worst weather I’ve ever encountered on a race. Just showing up for the P.R.o.N.E. 5K on Boston’s Castle Island was an accomplishment, if I don’t say so myself. Indeed, I can’t believe how many runners came out, given the conditions. But then again, there were a number of small, fluffy enticements …
P.R.o.N.E. stands for Pug Rescue of New England, an organization I was beyond thrilled to support. I am the most dog-obsessed person I know who doesn’t actually own a dog. (I’m terribly allergic, which is the tragedy of my life.) Surely, only a pug-fest could draw so many people out of doors in such weather.
I had been obsessively Googling the forecast all week, but sadly each time I checked, things looked more dire. It was raining only lightly when I left home, though, so I had some hope that things might improve.
I was especially unprepared for the wind. As I walked with a fellow runner along the water towards the start area, I was shocked at how blowy it was. Then I realized we were traveling along part of the course, and I started to get The Fear. I am terrible at running in the wind. In the annals of things that make me quake in my sneakers, it lies somewhere in between hills and compression socks.
As the runners milled around waiting for the start, the rain got heavier. Forget mid-run sweatiness, we were all soaked before we even began. (I wonder how much extra weight we were carrying thanks to our wet clothes and waterlogged sneakers. Makes me feel even more hard core.)
I met up with the lovely Tiffany, who blogs at Cute Dogs & Hugs (check it out!), and her hubby. The three of us took off and squelched our way through the first mile without too much trouble. I was feeling pretty good, probably because it was nice and cool, and the rain didn’t bother me too much at the outset. I was so distracted by the damp that I forgot to turn on my watch, but Tiffany kept us updated on our pace and we were doing just fine.
However, the farther we got, the more uncomfortable – and no doubt scowly – I became. There were big puddles to jump over (no one told me this was an obstacle course!), and the rain started dripping from my cap into my eyes. Ouch.
And did I mention the wind? It was relentless for the duration, coming at us from all angles (except the back, of course), but became especially furious as we headed out along the exposed jetty. (It’s amusing that the body of water we were running around is called Pleasure Bay.) The rain slammed into us from the side, and I was sure my fluttering bib was going to meet a watery end. Tiffany and her hubby were amazing. If it weren’t for them, I probably would have walked sooner, but I didn’t want to shame myself on our first meeting.
I did end up walking briefly, but I was comfortable (in my severe discomfort) that I hadn’t brought too much shame upon the house of Stride and Joy – given the soggy circumstances.
The organizers did a great job with this event, despite the unfortunate weather. Mother Nature definitely owes them a do-over.
As an aside, I think I may finally have this race-photo business figured out. The key is to smile and wave. Even if you are feeling VERY scowly and your undies are completely filled with rainwater …
Twenty-four runs down, 28 (hopefully dry) runs to go.
The event: P.R.o.N.E. 5K
The location: Castle Island, Boston
The date: June 2, 2012
My time: 32.48 (pace: 10.35)
The cause: Pug Rescue of New England
The T-shirt: Red cotton with P.R.o.N.E. logo.
The aftermath: Bananas, brownies, muffins, a lot of rain
* The headline is from the movie Annie, when Daddy Warbucks (Albert Finney) enters his mansion just after Sandy the dog has just been given a bath. One of my all-time faves.