Rain and Dark

I didn’t run the past two days but I got up and went this morning. It was raining. Hard. And it was dark. And I was sleepy. Did I want to go? Not really, but I did anyway.

It was pouring. Just dumping, really. And, it being late November, it was dark at 5:30. And the clouds made it darker. I dressed, slowly, and stood on the porch.

I did that for a few minutes, stood there that is. I watched the rain drip off the eave through the beam of my headlamp. I was going to get mighty wet. And then I stepped onto the gravel and off I went.

It was chilly, as you can imagine. Not what I would call cold, but nothing warm about it. I was still sleepy, eyes half shut as I navigated the puddles in the driveway.

I was thinking I might go five or six miles. I only went four. I was chilled, I tell you.  It was a decent run. I was home before I knew it. I had to pay so much attention to my feet that I hardly noticed where I was. Plus, it got foggy. I couldn’t see more than a ten feet in front of me.

I was soaked by the time I got home. Dripping. I was thinking that what I wanted at that moment was to a warm cup of coffee and a warm fire. But that wasn’t happening. I could make some coffee and start a fire, but by then it wouldn’t have the same effect. So I took a warm shower and got ready to head to work.

Tomorrow maybe eleven miles?  It should be cloudy but not raining like this morning. We’ll see. This is a somewhat easy week anyway. But I would like to go fairly long. I’ll see what happens when I wake up. I can decide then.

Long Rainy Run

I haven’t gone on a long run in the rain in a long time. Today I broke the streak. I ran eleven miles, hills and cold and all, in rain all the way. This was fine with me. Running in the rain is peaceful, mesmerizing even, and it means I won’t get too hot. Not only did I get in eleven miles but I also hit the 30 mile mark for a week. That also has not happened for a long time. I felt good, although I did run slowly, mentally and physically. But there was one problem.

Once when I ran the Vermont City Marathon in Burlington, it rained. Not the whole time and not all that hard, but it was a wet day, rain on an off. At every aid station volunteers hand out water. At some of them they hand out snacks. On this day some volunteers were handing out Vaseline. They do this on sunny days as well, although I hadn’t really noticed it before. It helps with, well, chafing, if that happens to be a problem. I declined the oily goo. Who needs that stuff, I thought.

At the finish line that day I saw a man with a bloody shirt. He hadn’t cut himself. Nothing so easy. The rain had made his shirt wet and his nipples had rubbed against that wet shirt and there were streaks of blood originating from those two points. He had rubbed his nipples raw. That, I remember thinking, looks painful. The thing is, it has since happened to me. Not nearly to that degree, thank Jehovah, but enough that I had to be careful what I wore for a few days. It happened on a rainy day when I was out running for a long time. Kind of like today…

Look, I’m not proud to admit that I have this particular injury here. I can’t say it is embarrassing, exactly, but it does open one up to the possibility of ridicule. Being a tenderfoot is one thing, but a tendernipple? That can’t look good on a resume.

It isn’t all that bad. I’m just a wee bit sore, and I’ll need to be careful what I wear. No heavy duty work shirts on the old bare torso for me. It goes to show how long I have been out of the habit of running. I didn’t even think of the fact that I might run with a wet shirt for, I don’t know, a couple of hours. Sheesh. I’ve got to learn this stuff all over again? I thought I knew how to learn from my mistakes. Apparently not.

I don’t plan to run at all tomorrow. I need a day off and it will give me a chance to heal up, if you know what I’m saying. At least I’m not really injured. I feel pretty dang good, actually. I could run tomorrow if that felt like the right thing to do. As it is, I will stay away from my chosen fitness activity for at least one day. And even if I don’t sleep in later than usual, I may just hang out in pajamas well into the morning. I mean, it will be Sunday, right?

Back at it Then Nothin’ Today

Yesterday I busted out the Camelbak (I had to wash it first, since I hadn’t used it since early summer), figured out what to wear, stashed a Clif bar in my pocket, and ran eleven miles.  Now to some, that may seem like a lot.  To others it may seem like a walk in the park.  It felt just right for me yesterday.  It was not a hot day.  It was 36 degrees when I hit the road.  That made dressing right a challenge.  It wasn’t cold enough to warrant an insulated hat but it was windy.  Would I need a vest under my wind layer?  What about gloves?  I bagged the vest, went with the gloves, and had a great run.

There was a half marathon in Shelburne today. I had considered running that, but ended up bagging it.  The eleven yesterday was the substitute. Well, it wasn’t really a substitute. It was just a longish run on a fine day.  My wife ran the half marathon. I stayed home to bake bread and let my children sleep in. Today was the truly fine day. Can you say September day? My plan was to run a short one today, maybe three or four miles, just to get out there. But with the bread baking and putting the last of the garden beds to sleep and raking and clearing some crap out of the basement and storing the summer furniture and making and apple pie and the rest of it, I just plain forgot. I have been so used to running in the morning that afternoon came and I forgot all about it.

So I got in nothing today. The long run felt good, however. My plan is to do that again next weekend. Sorter runs during the week, then eleven again on Saturday. Maybe I will plan to take Sunday off this time. That means rising early Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. I will take Thursday off since I have to head out to work way early. Then Sunday off. That sounds about right.  I am aiming for 30 miles per week for a while. I may just register for the marathon in Burlington this month, before it fills up. Six months ought to be enough time to train for it, for Mercury’s sake, so I should be fine with that.

Now that I am less nimble–I trained for my first marathon in 60 days–I need to take it easier. But I do not mean to plod along like an old man for the next several months.  Build up slowly so I don’t get injured (again), run the marathon in May, then the Vermont 50 in September.  Sounds like a plan to me.