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Raindrops keep falling on my head

As I left the apartment this morning to meet with my running group, I felt like I’d forgotten something. I used to get this feeling in elementary school if I’d left my Care Bears lunchbox in the kitchen. Then I figured it out. I wasn’t wearing my hat. Or mittens. Or three-layers of sweat-wicking activewear. It was actually…pleasant out. Not quite warm enough to qualify as “nice” or “lovely,” but not a reenactment of the last ice age either.

Once I got to the running store, we took off down the canal towpath for 60 minutes, our longest run before the half-marathon in two weeks. (Two weeks!) The first 5-10 minutes of running are always the hardest for me. As soon as I start jogging, my body is like, “Hey now, why are you running? We were just sitting down or lying bed. Let’s get back to that, shall we?” At the beginning, I compare how I feel running to how I felt sitting down, which is of course worse. Once I’ve been going to awhile, I compare how I feel to how I felt 5 minutes ago, which is about the same, so it’s easier to accept. After a mile or so, my body started to accept the fact that it was going to be in pain for awhile and I found my groove. I was beginning to enjoy the blooming trees, the ducks, and the much-improved weather conditions.

This is when it started to rain.

I pulled the hood of my jacket over my head, but I neglected to wear one that had a drawstring, so it fell back after a minute. I kept going anyway. I’ve run in ice and snow and fog, so I may as well check rain off the list too. It wasn’t a torrential downpour, just a light sprinkle, which actually was kind of nice because it kept me cool. The towpath leads down to the Indianapolis Art Museum. We didn’t run anywhere far enough to get there, but near the 30-minute mark I felt like I’d jogged into the Impressionists gallery and right into a Monet. There was a picturesque wooden bridge spanning the canal with freshly green trees on either side of the water which hid the traffic on the south side. I actually ran an extra minute just to enjoy the beauty of the scene. Then I turned around because I’m not insane. Sixty minutes is looooong enough no matter how pretty the duckies are.

The size of our running group has dwindled a bit as we approach the half-marathon. I think this is a combination of people dropping out and people just not showing up for every session. I had to skip meets when I did my training series runs and when I was injured. However, it does seem to get smaller and smaller and smaller. And it’s the slow people who aren’t showing up anymore. It’s gotten to the point where I’m pretty sure I’m the slowest runner of the bunch. This kind of bummed me out as we headed down the trail. Then at the 30 minute mark we turned around and I suddenly had a half mile lead! Woo-hoo!

The sixty minute run was not as intimidating as it was just a month ago. Now that I’ve finished a 15K, running constantly for 1 hour and 45 minutes, these sixty minute runs seem like cake. Cake that has been sitting on the kitchen counter for a week and is stale and tough and impossible to swallow without a glass of milk, but still, cake.

I’m still waiting for a nice training day for these morning runs. The weather patterns had better get it together, because I have only one Saturday left. But at least I know that if there is snow, ice, fog, or rain on the day of the mini-marathon, I’ll be able to handle it.

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16 Comments

Merry • April 19, 2008 at 5:38 pm

Now I’ve got that dang song running through my head! Arrrrrrgh!

If you’re going to run through the rain, I suppose I can’t use the fact that it’s snowing outside as an excuse not to exercise. I’ll go try to work out with Manuel, my treadmill.

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Cindy • April 19, 2008 at 9:17 pm

We had a beautiful day here in New England… sunny, cool and breezy near the shore. We walked and walked and walked. Tomorrow it will be bikes on an island. I saw many runners out today, sweating in their shorts and t-shirts. I was cold in a sweatshirt and windbreaker—you runners create a lot of heat! Keep up the great work—you’re nearly there…

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Amy • April 19, 2008 at 9:54 pm

For some reason I’m very excited for your half marathon – perhaps because it’s a couple of weeks before mine. Or perhaps because I’m a crazy blog-stalker. Hard to say. Glad your run was good this morning. I have a 10K tomorrow!

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SP • April 19, 2008 at 10:16 pm

One of my favorite things about Portland is that very light rain (which is mostly what we get here) is actually really lovely for runnning; it’s like being gently spritzed as you run, and I never overheat.

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starbird • April 19, 2008 at 11:00 pm

SP must be from Portland ME. It was cold here in the NW corner of Oregon today. I’m a bit south of Portland OR, but at about 7:45 this morning I looked out the window and saw . . . Snow! I vowed I’d get myself out the door and walk until it stopped snowing. Not dangerous, since I had seen the weather forecast – I was only out until about 8:30 am.

Then, around noon, it started to snow again. Of course, I had to go out again. I feel so virtuous. A day this snowy and cold was a record for Oregon. This is April???

PQ, I know what you mean about Monet. Spring in Oregon looks Impressionist, too, with the lacy, just-blooming tree branches massed against the gently-rolling hills around my county. The soft, pale yellow greens, pinks and whites of the blossoms look like water colors.

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cara • April 19, 2008 at 11:00 pm

Sunny and clear as a bell down here in FL. I’m starting C25K (Couch Potato to 5K runner) tomorrow morning. My first running in almost 20 years. Been walking for almost a year now, and with 75 less pounds on my bones I think I’m finally ready.

Half marathon here I come (eventually).

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Andrew is getting fit • April 20, 2008 at 3:41 am

It sounds like a lovely run. I’m really looking forward to your half marathon. I’ve decided to do one as well so it’s great to see you doing so well in your training as it’s very inspirational.

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Crabby McSlacker • April 20, 2008 at 7:07 am

I always THINK I’m going to hate running in the rain, but when I actually get my ass out the door and do it, it’s kinda fun. I feel like I get Extra Credit or something, and the smugness of being out in a downpour is quite motivating. (On the other hand, I only do that a few times a year–if I lived in Seattle or something I’d be far more grouchy about it).

BTW, I loved your “piece of cake” description.

And congrats on the book being out! I’ll definitely have to look for it.

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K • April 20, 2008 at 11:27 am

Hardcore, is what you are. By now I’d have thought you’ll be able to handle any running conditions short of Judgment Day or maybe a meteorite strike…

Congratulations on the 15K! I missed the entry (out of town). But that’s so great. Good luck for the Big One.

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Red • April 21, 2008 at 1:30 am

Everyone should move to california… or at least we should export our weather for a nice premium.

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jae • April 21, 2008 at 2:10 am

I got your book in the mail today (didn’t check it yesterday) and I’m so excited. I must say that I couldn’t get past the dedication page without starting to cry. Yes, I’m a dork. I can’t wait to keep reading! ~j

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jae • April 21, 2008 at 2:14 am

I know, Starbird, what the heck is happening around here?? Why is it still so cold and snowy? ~j

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Laura • April 21, 2008 at 1:00 pm

You have run through it all! I just hope it’s not 80 and humid on race day. I think I could handle just about everything (well, maybe not a downpour with wind, that would be just miserable) but I hate running when it’s hot and humid. We’ll do it anyway, though, right? Can’t believe it’s less than 2 weeks away.

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Nancy • April 21, 2008 at 4:05 pm

I’ll be there one day!

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Lesley • April 22, 2008 at 5:17 am

Hi there PQ. I’m running my first half marathon on Sunday so I’m interested in your progress and your training kind of reminds/nags me to get out and sdo some more of my own. We haven’t had much snow but plenty of ice, freezing fog, rain, gales etc so I’m with you there too.

On Sunday I was running up a loooong steep hill desperately telling myself that the howling head wind was great for “cooling me down”! It’s amazing what a bit of positive reframiing can accomplish isn’t it?!

Keep it up and I’m sure you’ll love it.

Do you have any plans for a full marathon? I thought not but now I’m wondering……

Lesley x

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PastaQueen • April 22, 2008 at 7:40 am

At this time I have no plans to do a full marathon. A half is good enough for me.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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