Running in the Rain

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I find it ironic that for somebody who is an Aquarian and who loves the water (I drink and swim a lot), I do not like running the in the rain. I have a litany of reasons:

  • my shoes will get wet and I will get those pesky blisters,
  • my white shoes will get dirty (washing your shoes too often affects its cushioning)
  • my Garmin may conk out if it rains hard
  • I tolerate hot weather well but I tend to shiver in the cold (excess fat notwithstanding)

I suppose these also partly explained why I enrolled in a gym: to run on the treadmill in the controlled comfort of the indoors – rain or shine.

Nike Raining Clinic

Last Friday I was supposed to accompany a newbie runner-friend in the running clinic. It has been drizzling all afternoon till early evening, but I was still hopeful the rains would stop when we begin running. When my friend finally finished work and arrived at our meeting place, not only was the clinic half-way done, the rains also intensified. Although I had already purchased our requisite water bottles for the run, I asked my friend if she was still up to it. I was hoping she would beg out of it. I was hoping she would say, “Let’s just eat and chill”, but NO, she cheerily said Yes! Why, she even seemed thrilled with the prospect of running in the rain. I stupidly offered the option of doing the treadmill in the nearby gym, with me taking her in as a walk-in guest, but she declined it – perhaps wisely. Uh-oh, I said to myself, there was no gentlemanly and chivalrous way out of this. I was supposed to be the more experienced runner guiding a newbie friend; I was supposed to be more enthusiastic than her! And so run we did.

It was not bad as I thought. I had a cold start as expected, but eventually things warmed up as I slowly let go of my stupid adult worries of blisters, dirty shoes and sickness. I took my cue from my friend who treated this practice run the way a child views a romp in the rain – with child-like wonder and abandon. At a certain segment of the BHS loop we would run head-on against the cool night breeze. Shiver we did – not in the dread of cold - but in the thrill of cool raindrops touching our lashes and caressing our faces. We ran, chatted and laughed like kids. Our invigorating run was capped by a hearty meal at the finish.

Rainy Earth Run

It rained even harder the morning of the Earth Run. My warm bed strongly beckoned but memories of Friday’s cool, wet run prevailed. Not only was this my friend’s comeback race after so many months, I was also expecting friends from in this race – many of them gunning for new personal records or longer distances.

The rains heaved and hawed, but did not really abate until 30 minutes into the race. I opted to leave my worldly gadgets (Garmin and phone) inside my vehicle. I was physically and mentally prepared for the rain this time. It was just me summoning the fun-loving, wanderlust kid that I used to be – the kid who takes showers in the rain, ventures out of the house in the calm of the eye of the storm, rides makeshift rafts on flooded streets, builds water dams in drainage or irrigation canals, and catches guppies or goldfish spilling over from the neighbor’s ponds.

I ran the 5K with my friend. The first 500 meters felt like running in the Baguio morn. The rains were that cold. But it was fun and exhilarating. Looking around, I saw hundred of red or blue Earth Run singlets – all members of Runners Anonymous. We were addicts all. Because of the rains the runs started late and there was a mass start for 3, 5 and 16K runners. It was congested at the start, yes, but the spectacle of seeing those reds and blues spill through the streets of McKinley was worth it.

My friend and I enjoyed our 5K run. We paused at water stations and had a few walk breaks. After our last walk break in Lawton Avenue, we had a blast running the last 500m downhill back to McKinley. My friend loved the downhill and it showed. The last 200 meters I egged my friend to sprint further, the way we finished our rainy Friday run. Hearts pounding, lungs about to burst, and a cacophony of pleasant sensations.

With the right company, running in the rain can be fun.

The sun soon shone and the morning ended with rowdy breakfast at McDo with about 40 people of


JavyO June 2, 2009 at 1:31 PM  


Don't worry about your Garmin. It has an IPX7 rating, which means it is submersible in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes. This means getting wet in the rain is nothing. I know some people who swim with their Forerunner 305, but personally I wouldn't. Sayang eh.

I'm unable to cut and paste here, but google 'IPX7' and you should find the link.

I've run my best times in the rain, try it, you might like it :)

Rico Villanueva June 2, 2009 at 2:26 PM  

Thanks for the info, Javy. Glad to know I can use my Garmin this rainy season. I am learning to love running in the rain. Have to, I might run my first marathon in the rain. I guess I will just bring second pair of socks. Hehe. Like you, I hope I can run my best in the possible rainy Milo marathon.

run unltd. June 2, 2009 at 3:49 PM  

Hi Rico, last sunday's run was great indeed, weatherwise. But that was just a drizzle, last year's milo elims was a downpour. I hope you enjoyed the experience. See you again.

Anonymous June 2, 2009 at 6:34 PM  

Running in the rain alone was so much fun last Sunday... but I'm pretty sure running with "a friend" was tons better...:) :)

Gingerbreadman June 2, 2009 at 10:44 PM  

Hi Boss Rix, yeah the IPX7 will hold in a rainshower... it wouldn't for swimming though. Although I've read some tria people do it in the States.

So.... when are we going to meet this "friend" of yours? Haha :)

TIMMY SEBASTIAN June 2, 2009 at 11:22 PM  

"With the right company, running in the rain can be fun."

i must agree :)

running in the rain brings out the child in us, bringing back memories of childhood past, where no rules were bothering us, no schedules to follow, just enjoying the moment as is.

this i miss.

but the afternoon bagyo-ish weather, was fun too. hehehe

nice blog as always rix.

sarap ng first time ulit.


Rico Villanueva June 3, 2009 at 12:17 AM  

Vener, thanks for the info on the Milo weather last year. I guess I have to do less of my hot weather training and shift to running in the rain. :-)

Anonymous, running in the rain with a cool friend makes all the difference :-)

Luis, my GF will just keep me company while running. No need to immerse her in the water. Hehe.

Timmy, sarap di ba? Haha!

sfrunner June 3, 2009 at 1:42 AM  

Hi Rico. Congratulations on the Earth Run. I saw you with a medal in another blog. Awesome!
Take care and keep on running!

Bro J June 3, 2009 at 7:38 AM  

It's a great experience Rico, We enjoyed the weather too, it helped a lot especially for swthrt who's running for her first 10 miler. Congratulations to the runners! See you at the Mizuno run!

The Traveling Mom June 3, 2009 at 5:21 PM  

so, when do we meet your "friend"? :)

Rico Villanueva June 5, 2009 at 5:39 PM  

Hi Wayne, thanks for the congratulations but the medal was not mine. Just borrowed it from a friend. Haha.

Hi Bro J. Sarap ng weather noh? Hope to see you in Mizuno Run. Sana maabutan kita. :-)

Hey Lorie, I am sure you will see my friend and I during races. :-)

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