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BLOG | Running in the rain

5:13 AM, Jul 2, 2013   |    comments
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"The rain is coming, the rain is coming!" 

By Monday afternoon, it was echoing across Facebook, Twitter, and my cell phone. The message pushed passed the cold washcloth soothing my migraine to bring a smile. 

The rain is coming. On the 4th of July. For the world's largest 10k. Why the smile? I love running in the rain. There's nothing like a downpour to turn a rolling party into an all-out rain dance. (I'm talking summer rain here, not freezing winter rain, which is less enjoyable.)

COMPLETE COVERAGE | 2013 AJC Peachtree Road Race

While you can learn to love running in the rain, the logistics for the organizers, volunteers, and media are a nightmare. So, I'm still hoping the 70% chance might fade by Thursday. If not, here's your guide to singing in the rain ... er, I mean running in the rain.

You can only get so wet

Stop trying to stay dry, it's pointless. Just swing your arms around and dance in the rain. 

Avoid cotton like the devil

"Cotton is rotten," one coach used to tell me. And that's on a dry day. In the rain, your cotton clothing will collect water, getting heavier and heavier, until it stretches out. Cotton socks will feel like sponges, rubbing against your soaked to skin. Avoid cotton.

Baby your feet

Put Body Glide or Vaseline ALL OVER your feet before you put on quick-drying socks like SmartWool. See that picture above? That's what I did for the Sweetwater 50K. After crossing water up to my waist once, and several smaller creeks along the 9 hour run, I never got a blister. Not one. Trust me on this one, blisters will make your run miserable and set back your training by several days. 

Bring a garbage bag

Running while wet is OK; sitting around in it is kind of lame. So, bring a garbage bag. You can wear it while you wait for your corral. Then, toss it when you're done. 

Try to bring dry clothes

This might be hard for the Peachtree, but try to have a pair of dry clothes back in your car or waiting with friends and family. Wet clothes get a lot worse if you have to sit around in them. Don't forget dry underwear and socks! 

Pay attention to course flags 

We look so happy in that Team in Training picture (I'm the one in the back left with a glowing hat-- reflectors work!). This was hours before the months of training were swept away by tornado warnings in the Nashville area. I only made it 21 miles that day. It was a wake up call on how difficult it is to gather information while you're running a course.

Like all major races, the Peachtree has adopted the flag system: green, yellow, red, black. If there is lightning in the area, they could postpone or call of the race. It's unlikely this will happen, but be aware of those signs on Thursday morning. 

One of the texts I received was from a co-worker, basically wondering how many people would opt NOT to run. Not run? For a few inches of rain? No one! I said. I've run races with tornadoes lurking, ice-covered water stops, heat waves and snow storms. Come on, we're runners. Not wimps! Run on, soggy runner, run on! 

Look for Julie on the race course Thursday. She and Doug Richards will be running with live equipment to provide the "RunnerCam" for the live race coverage. 

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