The last session I had to do before leaving for my 1500meter race in Slovakia was a handful of 400’s and a 300 at race pace, but it was to be done by time on a road, like a fartlek, rather than on a track.  I ran 20 minutes in the morning under sunny skies to loosen up, and though tempted to just do the session right then, I stuck to my plan to go in the afternoon to get my biorhythms used to working hard around the time I’d be racing.

Big mistake.

stormAt 2:00, a massive storm comes in and I curl up on the sofa staring out the window as the sheets of water pour down for hours.  By 6:00, there are no signs of improvement so I raid Jesse’s bag to borrow some tights and I put on my long sleeve and water “resistant” jacket, and head out the door (I left the water proof one at home).  I can’t see more than 20 feet in front of me, and after 15 minutes of warmup, I go back into the house with streams of water running off my sleeves onto the floor.

This is un-fricken-believable.  I’m not going back out there.  Forget it.

I had been feeling abnormally tired the past three days; it was the feeling you get when you start to come off the other side of an athletic peak, and you realize you are beginning the downward slope of your season.  Motivation sags.  Things like rainstorms are worthy of taking a day off.  I stood there, fully clothed, dripping into my shower drain, negotiating with myself.

I don’t have to do this session today.  It doesn’t really matter.  I can do a smaller version of it tomorrow morning and I’ll still have 48 hours to recover for my race.

Don’t be such a candy-ass.  Get out there and suck it up.  You live in Eugene for God’s sake; you know how to run in the rain.  What is wrong with you?

I’m tired anyway.  Maybe this weather is a sign from above that I should stay inside to watch movies and eat instead.

Suck it up Fleshman.  What are you going to tell your coach?  ‘Oh, it was raining…I decided not to do it.’  No matter how many ways you try to word it, they are words of weakness.

running in rainAs I powered down the street avoiding cars and the more dangerous puddles, weighed down by the 8 pounds of water between the fabrics of my clothes, I squinted my eyes and ran.  Eventually, the stinken workout was over.  Some days when you overcome wussiness to complete a hard workout, you feel immensely satisfied with yourself afterwards.  But on this particular day, all I felt was relief.  Relief that I didn’t have to do anything hard tomorrow, and relief that I didn’t have to explain my delinquency to coach.

sink of clothesUnmotivated to cool down, I took my camera with me and tried to capture the craziness of the rain.  Any blurriness is due to decreased visibility, not a shaky hand.  Since it was “that kind of day,” I didn’t bother stopping my watch when I took photos.  When the clock said 15 mintues, I had probably only run for 8 of those, but it was still time to stop.

The trail of water between the front door and my shower was going to need mopping up as soon as I could get to it.  The only suitable place for clothes this wet was in the sink.  I couldn’t have been more wet if I’d jumped into the sea.