For many running in the rain is either a delight or a misery. Yesterday and this morning it turned out to be a delight. Believe it or not, I took the above photograph in the pouring rain and it was just before my camera froze on me (it got rather wet).
Thoughts on running in the rain:
- It can be refreshing, invigorating
- It touches your senses in different ways - listen to the rain as you run through it, your feet splashing and wet grass brushing against your legs. Feel the refreshing rain on your face
- Sounds are different in the rain, somehow
- The soft gentle rain we sometimes have in the summer months is simply the best! A close second is also in the summer when we occasionally get a real deluge, just like a monsoon in the tropics. Believe me running in these conditions is an unforgettable experience!
- Afterwards the air can smell fresh, humid and fragrant
It also means you have to take care. Surfaces can become slippery. This morning I came across some chalky mud that was a thin layer on solid compacted mud underneath - it was like ice! While I like running through puddles and across streams I often get reminded how I need to take good care - I can't see what my feet are landing in
Who cares if you get wet, especially in the summer? Your skin is waterproof, getting wet is unlikely to harm you in the summer. In winter it is a different matter entirely: wind chill can be a real issue but that if for another time, not just now.
I wore my Montane Featherlite jacket which, at best is shower proof i.e. I was wet inside within 10 minutes. Runners need to take care with wet clothing because it can cause chaffing and rubbing. This in turn can lead soreness where the clothing rubs against the skin. This is a reminder of why cotton tee shirts are best avoided by using wicking type materials - the artificial fibres of man-made fabrics are great here.
I have had sore nipples ("runner's nipples") before in the wet and believe me, it's not nice! That constant rubbing with each step is bad news. Women, on the other hand, are likely to benefit from a sport-specific bra which is both helpful and essential in all conditions (so I understand).
Again this is where it is helpful to wear clothing made from the right material - i.e. synthetic clothing which wicks away the moisture, not retain it. Soggy cotton tee shirts will make things worse. If you're planning a long run, it might be worth protecting those delicate little areas with a plaster or two.
Afterwards getting back home, drenched and yet feeling utterly alive, was a wonderful, wonderful feeling. Stepping into a really hot shower is equally wonderful but before I get totally carried away with all that, don't forget to allow your running shoes to dry out naturally. A soaking wet pair of running shoes can take 2 or 3 days to dry out completely. This is another reminder of the reasons to have two pairs of running shoes is such a good idea.