No Rain, No Gain

What do you do when the weather forecast is calling for 70-90% chance of rain the morning and your training plan has you running mile repeats? You run mile repeats. In the rain.

The morning was going to be my best time to get in a good workout so that I could have the early evening to write, make dinner, and get upstairs in time to babysit our neighbors’ two year old.


I’ll run in a morning downpour to free up my afternoon to babysit this amazing child.

So I grabbed my Asics, took my car keys off the key holder, and headed out the door to meet precipitation with determination. But first, it was off to the National College of Natural Medicine to drop Val off. That’s right. My girl’s gonna be a doctor (in like 6 years or so) and I’m DARN proud of her!

When I finally got to the track, weather decided to be weather and despite the 80% chance of rain my phone app was showing, the raindrops had turned into nothing but a very light Portland mist. That’s right: Portland mist. I think Portland should trademark the mist that I’ve had to run in so many times while living here already. I haven’t been to many other places in the Pacific Northwest, but it sure doesn’t mist like this in New Jersey so I’ll give the ownership to Portland. But rain or mist, I was ready for whatever Mother Nature had in store. When Val and I knew we were going to be moving to Portland and were told a hundred times to bring an umbrella, I knew I had to learn to at least tolerate running in the rain.

The approaching rainy season here in the Pacific Northwest will be my true test. It’s not like I’ve never run in the rain before. When I ran track all throughout high school (two seasons a year for 4 years), our coach simply didn’t care if it was raining. The workout or expectations may have been altered, but if we could move forward without risk of injury, we were running. I’m grateful for these experiences as I think it made me a more disciplined runner. I’ve gotten caught in a good number of downpours back in New Jersey, but I suppose those don’t count do they? I mean, when you’re 3 miles out and it starts to rain cats and dogs out of nowhere you still have to get home, right? The real test, which is what I’m sure I’ll face here in Portland in just a couple months, is ongoing wet weather no matter if I lace up in the morning or in the evening.


Portland’s waterfront esplanade…in the rain. Going to have to get used to this!

Look here and read closely: I love running. I love everything about it: training, racing, the sights, new sneakers, the endorphins, the constant eating, the coffee fuel, the soreness. All of it. But when it comes to rain (not even snow, weird right?) I’ve always tried to reason my way out of a planned run.

My reasoning in bullet list for your reading pleasure:

  • “Oh I can definitely switch today’s 8 miles with tomorrow’s short run. That’ll work!”
  • “Well I guess I can run my 4 miles on the treadmill so that I can get in some lifting at the gym. Great plan, Will!”

Or my favorite:

  • “Ehh..I probably need a rest day today anyway.”

If I tried to attempt this reasoning this time around, I’ll probably make it out on the road only once or twice a week during the Pacific Northwest’s rainy months ahead. So I need to tough it out. And I am actually pretty confident that I’ll be just fine. I had a small dose of the rain when we moved here in January so for at least a month and a half I had to adjust to running on wet roads nearly every run. But what I think will REALLY help motivate me to keep getting out there for my daily run, no matter the workout or distance, will be to have a race on the schedule. After the Portland Marathon on October 4th, I’m eyeing a 6 hour ultra near Seattle at the end of October and will probably rest up a bit while I look for something else in December.

For me, races on the calendar will definitely help keep me focused with my running. I’m curious to know what works for you? When it comes to the changing seasons, weather, and temperatures, what methods do you use or adopt to keep you going? How do you feel about running in the rain? Do you do it because you don’t mind it, because you love it, because you have no choice as it rains every freakin’ day where you live, or because you know it can rain on race day and you want to be prepared for that?

Let’s talk about running in the rain! Thanks for checking in everyone!


One thought on “No Rain, No Gain

  1. Love it!! Your post, and running in the rain, well maybe not all the time but I’ll take over heat..great pic of the Portland waterfront, in fact it looked just like that when we ran RnR Portland last year…drenched by the time we crossed the start line! But, it’s typically even wetter up here in the Emerald City…if you need any ideas or pointers when you’re up in Seattle just let me know!


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