A Soggy Sixteen

I woke yesterday to the sound of rain drops hitting the window above the bed.  It was 5:40 in the morning, but it didn’t matter, I bolted out of bed and raced to check the weather — I had 16 miles to run!

According to weather.com the rain was anticipated to decrease to only a 60% chance by 7am and then down to 30% by 9am.  It was cool out — only 60 degrees, and if it weren’t for my company picnic planned for early afternoon, I would have waited out the storm.   As it were, I had no choice but to head out I the wet.  I was weary of heading to my planned trail head because I had no idea how long it had been raining and had visions of a swampy, muddy mess.  However, on the flip side, the foliage overhead promised a drier run.  It was a toss up, and since no other options really struck my fancy I laced up my old, dirty trainers and headed for the trail.

Since the weather was cool, I donned capris and a loose-fitting long sleeved shirt, but because wearing things around my waist over baggy clothes always causes bunching (and thereby the dreaded chafe!), I was left wondering how I was going to carry my water.  I’ve tried running with handhelds before, and always ended up stashing them in the bushes 3 miles in.  Taking inspiration from Danica’s recent post about learning to run with a handheld I grabbed one of the 8oz bottles that came with my new 4-bottle hydration pack.


Danica suggested starting by carrying something small like an iPod or mace, just to get used to carrying something in your hand.  I do this already without a problem, but at 20oz the handheld I was using was not small at all and my arm would get tired after a few miles. 

My Ultimate Direction Fastdraw Extreme Hand-held Bottle. 
Great for hikes, not for runs. 

I’m happy to report that the little 8oz bottle worked swimmingly.  My arm never got tired and I never ran out of fluid.  Because it was cool out, and because I knew there would be a water fountain at my halfway point, I was comfortable carrying so little fluid.  On a warmer day this never would have worked! 

Two things stood out to me on my run:

1) Apparently only dedicated runners hit the trail in the rain.  No walkers, chit-chatters or recreational runners dared to brave the elements.  You could see it in their eyes — every runner out there was focused on knocking out their workout as quickly as possible.  I was dreaming of warming up with a big mug of black coffee and comfy sweats and I’m pretty sure they were too. 

2) There were also no cyclists to be found.  Why is that? Is it because the trail is too slippery?  Or do rain drops really hurt that much more when hitting you in the face at 16mph rather than 6mph?

The highlight:  Another celebrity sighting!  Right around mile 2 a guy runs past and shouts, “Olivia!”.  I knew instantly who it was, but of course I could only remember his blog name and not his given name.  As I was debating the merits of calling it out in return, he saved me by pointing to his chest and yelling, “Running moron!!”.  Yes, that’s right.  It was Brett from The Running Moron.  I had a good chuckle over that one  and it helped time fly by for a while, so Brett?  I owe you one.

The low point: Dispite using a handheld, I did not escape chaffing.  As I stepped into the shower I let out a little scream as the water hit my collar bone.  Turns out that the necklace that I’ve been running with for years is not ment to be paired with rain under a high-collared shirt.  The chain rubbed my poor collarbone raw.

What’s the strangest injury you’ve sustained while running?


20 Responses to A Soggy Sixteen

  1. danica says:

    YAY! Glad it worked for you. I totally know the feeling when you are like GAHHH my arm is going to fall off from this water bottle. 🙂

  2. brstevens says:

    Glad you didn’t think I was some screaming weirdo maniac because I sure felt like one. It was neat to recognize someone out there for once though.

    Re: bicycles, I’m not sure that it’s THE reason they stayed away yesterday, but when the trail gets wet and soft it kicks up a wide plume of mud that covers the backs of cyclists from their seats up to their helmets as they pedal. Maybe the folks who ride up there are more recreational riders who don’t feel the need to put up with that noise rather than athletes who are training for something and pretty much have to be out there. I’m glad they were gone though because bikes leave ruts behind that can be a pain in the neck for runners to navigate for weeks.

  3. Yo Ma says:

    What made the run go by so fast for you was the ‘Running Moron” saying Hi! I looked his blog up and he mentions the episode also, but he thinks it made him look like a REAL Moron. Maybe you do oowe him one??? Ha Ha!

  4. Pam says:

    I chafed my underarm this week. I use Body Glide in the places I tend to chafe (thighs, backside of ankles because my socks keep slipping down, etc.) but I’ve NEVER chafed under my arm before! Guess I’ll be gliding the hell out of my arms from now on. And I chafed between my ass cheeks a couple of weeks ago. I guess I’ll just have to take my chances with that because I am NOT putting the Body Glide there. Ew.

  5. Aneta says:

    good job on the miles!! woohoo!

    too bad that it was raining. u still ran great. and too bad about the necklace. maybe some body glide around ur neck or just taking the necklace off during longer runs.

  6. The Linz says:

    Wowzers – That sounds like a soggy run indeed. But way to get out there and not let the rain scare you away. And thanks for the tips on the handheld waters – I haven’t had the desire to try it yet because I was thinking how horrible it would be. But I like the option of using the little guy – I could prolly swing that.

  7. James says:

    Way to go getting out there in the rain. Was it the NCR Trail you ran on? It’s been a few months since I’ve been out there and dying to get back to it. I’m finally begining to get past this infection and plan to get out there this Sunday for a 5 miler. Maybe I’ll catch ya there.

    FYI, Chaffing sucks!

  8. abbi says:

    You were smart with the capris in the rainy weather – I was not! I seem to discover something new that chafes every week…ouch!

  9. jamie says:

    Nice job getting out there in the sight weather. I always feel so hard core running in the rain! Hope that chafe heals quickly. I have had some interesting places get chafed too… no fun.

  10. Laura says:

    The running moron…oh how your story made me laugh. You’re such a great writer!

  11. BostonRunner says:

    I’ve never carried a water bottle on a run with me before. I’ve never run far enough that I absolutely needed to carry one. I know I should be better about drinking water on long runs, but I’m not there yet. I even have trouble carrying my ipod on runs. I have problems with my arms going numb when I run and it becomes even worse if I’m carrying something. Not sure if this is a normal problem…

  12. Good job getting your run in in the rain! You rock! Looks like the rain clouds are opening up all over North America lately!

  13. katiedin says:

    Where is this trail?! I must explore 🙂 I’m still trying to navigate the Baltimore running scene.

  14. christina says:

    This is what I use for a handheld on either runs where I know there’s a place to refill or on long runs where I don’t need/want as much water as a belt:

    The hand strap holds the bottle to your hand rather than your hand holding the bottle (if that makes sense!). I love this little guy- it’s at least worth going to REI or a running store to check it out.

    PS I absolutely prefer this brand to other small handhelds- the strap is more comfortable. Plus it won’t leak never ever. Good luck!

    • Yes, I’ve seen these — how cute are they?! I wonder if they sell the little jackets (don’t they look like little dolls all dressed up?) seperately. It seems silly to spend $15 on the whole setup when I already have 4 bottles. Pobably not, that would be too easy. 🙂

  15. sarah says:

    There seems to be a greater chance of spinning out and maybe dying on a bike when it’s slippery outside. I don’t terribly mind running in the rain, but it does become a slog when it’s pouring the entire time for more than two hours.

    Strangest injury? I have definitely smashed my head into a few stop signs before. And one winter in Minnesota I developed such dry skin on my ankles due to running in not long-enough tights that my skin split open and I had to get medicated steroid cream to heal it. Gross, and I still have the scars.

  16. lizzyj1305 says:

    hey girlie!
    i haven’t tried holding a bottle while running, but I don’t think I could handle it! I like to be free! hehe!
    I will run in rain…I actually really enjoy it! but I wont ride my bike because you can slip, and you are riding fast through drops=very very wet!/water on your glasses so you have problems seeing.
    I hope your week is off to a great start!

  17. jen says:

    i always chafe just above my butt and have yet to figure out why (i’m talking sans fuel belt!) i think its the tag in the shorts but really???

    congrats on a great and wet run

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