Monday, October 12, 2009

Running in the Rain

After a wickedly hot and dry summer here in San Antonio, the rains have finally begun to come again with some regularity. Just as we grin and bear it when running in the heat, we now and then have to run in the rain. I don't know anyone who would be so desperate for that next run as to start a run in a downpour though I know those people are likely out there. For my part, I have a tolerence for mist or a light rain and, once I am underway, I will continue a run come rain or shine. However, there are a few things to be wary of when the rain really starts to come down. Those high dollar Nikes will get just as waterlogged as a cheaper shoe. Dry them out when you get home by stuffing wadded up newspaper inside.

More problematic are our running electronics. An iPod will eventually just stop unless you take measures to protect it from the rain. Worse yet are the Nike + iPod devices. If you don't know about these, let me relate my love-hate relationship with the system. I run with an iPod almost always, so an interface which allows me to track my run through my iPod is great. It's a heck of a lot cheaper than a Garmin system. On the other hand, the Nike+ can be temperamental rain or not, but especially in the rain. For one thing, the sensor fits into your Nike shoe. You would think those things would be absolutely water tight, but they're not. Plunge unwittingly into a puddle or two and soon your shoe will be soaked and your sensor will cease sensing. Also vulnerable is the receiver which inserts into the iPod. Eventually moisture will corrupt the connection and bye-bye tracking your run. In a worst case scenario, the whole system will stop, never to be revived again. So why do I keep buying Nike + iPod? The convenience, I guess, plus getting those words of encouragement at the end of a particularly good workout. Just the other night Tiger Woods congratulated me on my fastest pace yet. Of course, he had no way of knowing that I actually ran faster once with a now dead Nike +, but I guess, like golf, running is a thing of the present.

Another victim of running in a downpour is your cell phone. I killed one recently when I was caught in heavy rain while on a long run which I refused to abbreviate. The replacement phone is said to be more water resistant, but the resistant part is what makes me nervous. Rain also killed a Polar watch which interfaced with heart rate monitor and a tracking pod attached to my shoe. The watch is said to be water resistant to 30 meters, but not with this particular one. As a matter of fact, another Polar watch bit the dust a year or so ago when I was swimming laps. I tried to dry it out by putting it in the microwave. Bad idea. It stunk up my house for about half a day, though the sparks were kind of neat.

So, let's those of us in South Central Texas rejoice in the return of the rain and tolerate it when we run. We never know, it might be a rainy day come November 15 and the Rock'n'Roll San Antonio Marathon. Better that than 90 degrees.

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San Antonio Runners Rule @ B2B 2010

San Antonio teams swept 4 of the top 5 places at this year's Beach to Bay Marathon Relay in Corpus. Two of those 4 SA teams were running for Fleet Feet San Antonio. Congratulations to those competitors: Fleet Feet Sports Mambas, Fleet Feet Juniors, Los Borrachos and GMTC.

Texas Independence Relay Results

The results are in for the 2010 running of the Texas Independence Relay, one of the coolest races to be found in Texas or elsewhere, for that matter. Congratulations to all the participants, to the numerous volunteers, and to race organizers Joy and Jay Hilscher.

Several San Antonio based teams ran the event. Kudos to Dr. Mitchell Finnie, a runner with Los Paisanos, the top finishing SA team. They covered the 203+ miles in 24 hours 53 minutes 30 seconds. The team from the Mid-Texas Symphony, which I led, finished in 29 hours 42 minutes 48 seconds.

Need a Lift?

I just ran across this inspiring blog and highly recommend it. It lifts my spirit to see so many people applying their passion and commitment to running to such great causes.