Back in the days when I coached cross country one of the first things I addressed, at the start of the first practice, was weather and the cancellation policy. Basically the policy went like this: If the weather is bad enough to cancel a meet, then practice is cancelled. I left the parents an out (we're talking about fourth through eighth graders), but in five years of coaching I never cancelled a practice, and I only remember ending one early once.
The point: I was going to be there for whoever wanted to practice. In secret I always hoped for one bad weather day early in the season, just to see who showed up. Those were gonna be the ones I could count on when needed, the ones who would do whatever they had to to succeed.
This week I got the chance to apply the same reasoning to myself. I'm finally making a comeback after a couple years of injury, indifference, and other life stuff, and so far things have gone well. I'm in week ten of a fifteen week half marathon training cycle and have been hitting mileages and speeds I haven't seen in a while. Then came Wednesday: speed work, which as many of you know is my favorite something I wish I could live without. I also knew the weather forecast called for showers later in the morning, but if I went out now I should be able to get the workout in. Sounded like a good plan.
Someone didn't check the radar.
I ran a ten minute warmup, then launched into the first of the speed segments, 5 minutes at 5k pace. About a minute in I felt the first drops. By three minutes in it was raining pretty heavily, enough so that the rain drops that were getting in my mouth were causing me to cough. I finished the first segment and just about called the workout when I had several thoughts at once:
The nearest possible shelter was about half a mile away, the dugouts at the softball fields in the park where I was running
I'm already soaked
WHAT WOULD THE CROSS COUNTRY KIDS SAY??!
So I finished the workout. I even hit the proper times for the speed segments.
Thursday I had a couple short slow runs on the schedule for recovery, managed to get rained on during both of them.
Today, fourteen miles...in the rain.
Tomorrow is a day off to drive to Georgia for a college visit where my son wants to go to school.
I'd like to get a run in Sunday to take a look at the campus. The forecast says....