In case you haven't noticed, it's been raining in Southern California. Like, a lot of rain. As in, I can't remember the last time it rained for five consecutive days. I don't think it's rained as hard as it has around here in at least a decade.
That, combined with Mrs. LB's vacay, has thrown a wrench in my running this week. As in, I have run zero miles. Sad. The sun's out this morning though - queue Hallelujah music - so I'm going to squeeze in a five-miler.
I was able to run on Sunday, though. I had 18 miles on tap and there was no way I was going to miss that. It was a Loper run but only seven members of our pace group showed up. Actually, three regulars showed up and we had four others run with us. Of those, only four were going to do the whole 18 miles.
I can't blame those who didn't make it. The rain was coming down hard as soon as I woke up. I was getting dressed to the pitter-patter of rain, drove in a downpour and met up with the rest of the group in the rain. I thought to myself "You can just go back home, have some coffee and stay warm" but of course I was only joking... sorta...
Anyway, all I wanted to do was to stay as dry as possible. Kinda hard to do when it's coming down as hard as it was, but mostly I wanted to not step in puddles. Of course, it took all of one-tenth of a mile to splash myself. I stepped in a puddle and kicked up water to hit the other shoe. Good times.
We started off slowly and took a strange course. Since it was a bit of the blind leading the blind, we mapped out a route that we thought would get us to 18 miles. Part of the path we took - which was unavoidable - took us up a busy street, so we had to deal with that. And of course the rain had not let up at all.
We got to about 12.5 miles and turned around, figuring it would take us about 5.5 miles to get back if we went the short way back. My legs had felt great and despite my early puddle-splashing problems I had managed to stay relatively dry. The skies had opened up and were relentless but even that wasn't a problem. Once I'm out in the rain, it's not a big deal so long as I can avoid the puddles, and I'd done that.
The only problem I'd had was time. I wasn't worried about time necessarily but I did have to get back home in order to shower and get dressed for church with the in-laws. Luckily, one of the other runners in our quartet was up for a bit of a fast finish. We knocked out the last four miles in about 37 minutes. It was a great way to end the run and gave me some confidence that my legs are going to handle this marathon better than the other ones. Will that equate into a PR? Who knows, but I'm mostly concerned right now about getting in these long runs. I have 20 miles on Jan. 2 and then 20-22 on Jan. 16.
Hopefully the weather will cooperate more then. Still, having run 18 miles in the rain gives me confidence that no matter what the weather is like I'll be able to finish them as well. As long as I don't succumb to the allure of coffee next time.