What did work at CIM

A big thanks to all the kind comments, tweets and messages I received from you all regarding my cruddy day at CIM. I’m still not over the emotional sting, but the big virtual hugs I’ve received certainly help with the healing.

Rainy run the day before, which was really the calm before the storm

One thing I wanted to touch on about that day is the rain factor. I’ve always run in the rain–that will never send me to the treadmill. But I’ve never raced a full marathon in it. Choosing clothing for the day was a bit of a challenge. I didn’t want to overdress and be too warm, nor did I want to underdress and end up shivering for more than 3 1/2 hours. So after lots of debate, here’s what I came up with: Shorts, a singlet, and arm warmers. On top of that, I layered a throw-away shirt and a garbage bag, plus a pair of acrylic gloves.

I have to say, this was the perfect combo for me. I actually kept that stupid garbage bag on for about three miles, until we turned into a tailwind and hit a roller. Before I ditched the garbage bag, though, I managed to maneuver out of my long-sleeved throwaway. So by around three miles, I was down to just the singlet and arm warmers on top.

This was a really great choice, I think because both were tight to my body. In drenching rain like that, anything loose is going to get soaked and then heavy. The closer fitting clothing, however, didn’t hold onto all that much water. So I never felt chilled (until my final shuffling miles) and I never overheated. The gloves were also the perfect choice–anything heavier might have been too hot, and plain cotton throwaway gloves would have been soaked, heavy and cold.

So while I may have flubbed on nutrition, I at least got the clothing factor down. Something to smile about, I guess. And something that might help one of you someday should you find yourself facing torrential rains and winds during a marathon!

What works for you in the rain? 


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  1. says

    I would be inclined to dress similarly. But I probably would have worn the trash bag a little longer and not worn the sleeves. You all who even toed the line on Sunday are brave beyond compare. It really was brutal in terms of weather. I know you are not happy with your time, and I understand, but surviving that beast was quite the triumph in and of itself :)
    XLMIC recently posted..Because what could be more fun than standing around in a downpour while wearing a Hefty bag?My Profile

  2. says

    That’s good to know that the arm warmer worked well for you. I thought about wearing some then didn’t at the last minute and my arms ended up being really cold the whole time. Do you think you’d ever run a marathon in rain again? I really don’t mind training runs in the rain, even a good rainy trail run can be fun, but I don’t think I’ll ever run 26.2 in the rain again!
    GreenGirlRunning recently posted..CIM Recap & The Bright SideMy Profile

  3. says

    That’s EXACTLY what I wore, even down to ditching the garbage bag at mile 3, and I agree that I was really happy with it. The other thing I was happy with: Vaseline! Especially on my feet, but really everywhere.

    I also know what you mean about emotional sting. I’m still feeling that too, though it’s subsumed right now by the horrible chest cold (and this morning, fever!) I also have. I had a tickle in my throat all weekend and so I’m not surprised, but I’m not happy about it either. I’m having to miss work and it seems like such a waste for such a lousy race. But as you said, silver linings!! I learned a thing or two. :^)
    Terzah recently posted..Race Report: California International MarathonMy Profile

  4. says

    Yes! I would have dressed the same way. I’m okay with the rain, as well – doesn’t necessarily put me on the treadmill…I think the knee-jerk reaction is to dress so much warmer than you normally would which will just cause major problems. My legs are never, ever cold – I wear shorts in 30 degree weather with no issue – but I always go a bit heavier on the top!!
    Great post – and great tips for those who may face what you had to =)
    Michele @ Nycrunningmama recently posted..Spring Racing DecisionsMy Profile

  5. says

    Those running conditions were pretty awful. I can run a 5K and a 10K in the rain, no problem. A rainy 1/2 marathon wouldn’t be ideal and a full I think would just be awful! Very proud of you and everyone else who was out there in those conditions. I saw some video online and it looked cold, but I am glad that the temperatures weren’t too awful. It sounds like you did make a good decision in what you wore on race day. I think I would find it challenging to find the right outfit too.
    Tasha @ Healthy Diva recently posted..Race recap: Jingle Bell RunMy Profile

  6. says

    I did my first full in rain like that – I had a really light quasi-rain jacket I kept putting on and off…it was perfect. I’m also a HUGE fan of the arm sleeves for weather like that – especially in Cali. Sometimes our rain is more warm and humid than cold and chilly…Congrats on finishing – despite the rough ending in the med tent!
    Sheil recently posted..Weekend Miles RecapMy Profile

  7. says

    The form fitting clothes defintely make sense. I’m so sorry you had such a rough race, I hated to read the last part of your recap! I’m so happy though that you finished, and I still think your time was fantastic. I hope you’re feeling better about things, Congrats on yet another marathon!!
    Molly recently posted..Colorful ChristmasMy Profile

  8. says

    I ran the Flying Pig Marathon a few years ago and it poured the entire race. My socks slipped down into my shoes and both of my heels bled like slaughtered pigs against the back of my shoes. It was a nasty sight. I had to wear flip flops only for 2 weeks after that race. Something about the rain really does a number on a body running for 26 miles.
    Coy recently posted..Little Bit of NothingMy Profile

  9. says

    I did the Spartan Beast (13 mile obstacle course) and the Spartan Sprint (3 mile obstacle course) twice in the rain over the last month. I don’t really have a formula, I just wear as much dry-fit stuff as possible, a beanie, and hope for the best.

    That having been said, those races were in the California rain, not the freezing rain you might find elsewhere. Didn’t effect me that much.
    Jonathan Aluzas recently posted..Food For Fitness: Butternut Squash Mac ‘n’ CheeseMy Profile

  10. says

    I’ve never run a race in the rain either. Hope to never have to since I would have no idea what to wear. I get soooo cold when I get wet, not to mention considering such high winds. I’ll hit you up for suggestions if the situation ever arises.
    Joanne recently posted..Orange and Raisin Filled PastryMy Profile

  11. says

    I did a half marathon in the cold and rain that still sticks with me. I also don’t mind running in the rain but when it is cold too that adds a whole new level. I couldn’t open my car door after as my fingers wouldn’t bend. All I wanted to do was get home next to the wood stove. And that was a half so my sympathies for going a whole marathon in the rain. You did great in those conditions.
    Andrea recently posted..Santa 5KMy Profile

  12. says

    I appreciate your details of how your dressed for this weather. I have been lucky so far that I haven’t had torrential downpours with a race *knock on wood* … hopefully none in 2013. It is always something in the back of my mind, what if the rain really sets in. Trashbag sounds like a good plan if that happens, at least for a couple miles!
    Christina recently posted..What are your running goals for 2013?My Profile

  13. says

    The more I hear about CIM this year, the more I am impressed by those who ran it! Great job on the clothing choices…although I’m trying to envision running in a garbage bag for three miles, and just not succeeding! :)
    Mandy recently posted..Three Things ThursdayMy Profile