As I stepped off the train tonight my worst fear came to pass. Rain. Rain from the sky onto my head and with no sign whatsoever of letting off. Now this wouldn’t usually bother me too much, I am not phobic to precipitation, but tonight I knew that I would be spending the next hour or so out in it, in the middle of a park, running around.
I should have realised when taking up athletics at the end of summer that I would have to train in the winter/autumn/any time that wasn’t those two sunny weeks we had in early August and that training in the rain was inevitable. And it could also be worse; at least I would be running about and keeping warm, whilst Coach Man has to stand about, trying to make us out on the far side of the track through the murk and darkness that is a rainy October evening.
Luckily I had remembered to pack my trusty cagoule so I would be nice and dry on my top half at least. Or so I thought. Now I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to run in a cagoule? To be fair I don’t know if you’ve ever actually worn a cagoule, but if you have you will be aware that whilst keeping you reasonably dry from the rain, they actually cause you to get soaked from the inside out instead as ‘cagoule’ must be Latin or something for ‘wearable sauna’. Even mine, which is designed for hiking and what not and is therefore supposedly breathable left me wondering if the water running down my back was rain coming in down the back of the collar or was entirely of my own making. Lovely.
The other hazard with training in the rain, apart from mass overheating, is death-trap tracks. All weather tracks are fantastic don’t get me wrong. They benefit from being more springy, enabling the runner to go far faster than on grass or tarmac, however they also aren’t particularly grippy for those not wearing spikes. Like me. And when it rains they creates a nice grip free surface that trainers with very shallow treads quite like to aquaplane on. Add to that the further issue of nature doing its thing and inconsiderate trees dropping their slippery wet leaves all over the track and you’re left with a slightly precarious surface to run on. Then add a very unfit girl being made to do 100m sprint relays and you’ve got a very tough training session.
By the end of the session I was soaked through, tired and beginning to gain panda-eyes from unwaterproof eye make-up. However would I have missed training for an evening in the dry? Definitely not!
Image from http://roctherun.com/archives/741/ (thanks!)