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September 28th, 2009
Run with Moe: Running in the rain

Run with Moe: A Column
By MOE JOHNSON
San Marcos Runners Club

This Austin Triathlon was held in the Capital City earlier this month. Three local athletes endeavored to challenge the event that has each person go for a swim, ride a bicycle, then run a few miles to finish off a god morning of exercise.

Dean Porter was in the 25-29 year age groups and finished in 1:52:25. Greg Panell entered in the 55-59 age category and finished in 2:03:55. Local sportswriter  Tyler Mayforth was doing great, but, for some reason was unable to finish all three events. I am sure he will gear up to run another one and come out near the top of the entrants.

While Greg Panell was in Austin in the triathlon his wife, Nelda, was in Virginia City, VA, speed walking the Rock and Roll Half Marathon. She has entered the series that is put on by this organization and this was one of the events.

Her next one is the Rock and Roll Half Marathon in San Antonio. Nelda ran with her daughter Melanie, and they finished in 2:54. That is faster than many of the runners finished.

The Country Roads 10 K was also in early September and, after a long summer of hot, dry weather, it seems that weekend it decided to rain. We definitely needed the rain and, for a runner, running in the rain is not so unusual.

There might be a few non-runners who think runners are a bit on the crazy side, anyway, and to see them running in the rain just confirms their suspicions. Actually, running in the rain has several advantages.

I remember one very hard rain where, even on flat surface, the rain was several inches deep and the group of us were laughing and smiling like a group of kids playing in mud puddles. It makes a runner happy to be out and enjoying the wet weather, and that is something we have not had for some time.

Some runners like to run in the rain with the idea that with all the water they don’t have to take a shower afterwards, while others say it just makes a warm shower afterward feel that much better. It has a tendency to make a runner feel special in that they know that they are “tough” and can look at the runners that are still sitting inside getting fatter and “wimping” out of a good run.

Depending on where you run, the rain can clean your muddy shoes and the opposite of that is that if you hit mud, it makes your shoes dirt stained for life.

Some runners are unsure what to wear when running in the rain. When it is warm, just wear regular running clothes. No matter what you wear to keep the rain off, you will get wet, so you might as well get used to it and know that everything will be wet.

If you wear a raincoat, it will just cause you to overheat and get too warm. Rain gear is okay for cold weather, but we are not in that season just yet. Wearing a hat with a brim is good because it keeps the rain off of your face and out of the eyes. Wear something that is bright and easy to see, as cars are trying to look between windshield wiper rhythms and not always as attentive as they should be. Being visible helps with this problem.

Wet clothes and shoes tend to rub and will cause blisters where there is the least bit of friction. Putting some sort of Body Glide or Vaseline on those parts help that situation — places like the feet (toes and heels), inner thighs and under the arms.

The hardest part of running in the rain is the first step out of the door. The raindrops feel cold at first, but, after a very short distance, the body warms up and the cool rain feels great. One other thing to consider is that after the run you need to dry out the clothes and shoes. One easy way to dry out the shoes is to stuff newspaper in the shoe to absorb the moisture and keep the shape of the shoe from shrinking. It is not recommended to put them in front of a heater, as this tends to dry them too fast and often makes them very uncomfortable for your next run.

So, while the dry ground and lawns really enjoy the rain, a runner can also have a fun and enjoyable time running in the rain.

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