Drowned Rats

Friends make you do stuff you wouldn’t normally do. Sometimes that’s not a bad thing.

Running friends make you run in the pouring rain.


Ok, Amy did not “make” me do anything, but she didn’t let me bail on our usual Tuesday run, either. What’s a little rain? we thought.

It rained so hard that…

  • My windbreaker decided to give up and act like 100% cotton.
  • Halfway through the run my hat was so saturated rainwater started dripping in my eyes.
  • I kept having to move my car key fob to drier place on my person, for fear of it getting soaked (I settled for inside my sports bra.)
  • I had to borrow some of Amy’s clothes after the run, and change in the back of the minivan (respect The Van, people) just to be able to not look deranged when I picked up my kids at aftercare.
  • It took three changes of newspaper stuffed into my shoes to get them dry.

I’m glad we ran. I was sore the next day, probably because we ran too fast, just so we could be done with it. I was cursing a lot on that run, but when we were done, I checked it off the calendar like the list-maniac that I am, and felt kind of butt-kicky about it. One will never regret feeling butt-kicky.

How do you feel about running in the rain? Drowned ratty, or butt-kicky?

Third Time’s a Charm

Once, twice, three times…I’m ready!

Mary and I did our last long run before this weekend’s Danbury Half Marathon Stratton Faxon Greater Danbury Road Race recently, and we chose to torture ourselves for the third time on the KILL THE HILL course (that contains part of the race route) I wrote about in my last post.  To sum up the route: It was 11 miles of hills, hills, and more hills.

But this third time, even though we ran our longest milage of this training set, was actually the easiest, which surprised the heck out of me. Why? I have three ideas:

1. You know how when you’re traveling to an unfamiliar place and it seems to take forever to get there? Then subsequent travels to that place don’t seem to take as long? Same idea here. The first time we ran this route, it seemed to take forever…the hills just dragged on and on. This time, though we weren’t really pacing any faster, they seemed to be over lickety-split.

Hey, Hill, didn't I conquer you last weekend?

2. Gabby McGabbertons, we are. Mary and I talk and gab and gab and talk (except for on the hills). Gabbing makes runs go faster.

Goofy Gabbers taking a stretch break before the big hill.

3. I guess it’s not all in the mind, because hill runs make for decent, dare I say “killer” calf muscles. I’m speaking for both of us here, but our legs were screaming at us after the first time. After the third time, not so much.

This was about mile 10.5. My chicken legs were holding up well. And I use "chicken legs" as a term of endearment.

Also, third time around you tend to notice things that you didn’t notice before. Here are some photo highlights of this run:

Spring is here - one month early. Wacky Connecticut weather.

I never did understand the Easter Egg Tree.

We didn't notice this small cemetery until the 6th time we passed it.

Aaaahhhhh, downhill!

Still tons of tree carcasses leftover from "Snowtober", 6 months ago. (Again, wacky CT weather!)

Pit stop - PSYCH.

Eleven miles - FIN.

It was such a good run, I actually felt the runner’s high all day long. I even had trouble falling asleep that night, even though my body was exhausted. I feel more ready for this race than any of my other two prior half-marathons, because I know the route and I know what to expect. The intimidation factor has gone way down. I will definitely make scouting the course part of my training from now on. I’m also more excited for this one because I I’m running with a great training partner and friend. Holla, Mary!

Do you try to scout a race before you run it? Do you find that it helps you prepare? Or do you wing it?

P.S. After this race I’ll be starting to focus more on the NYC Marathon and raising money for LitWorld…stay tuned!