Tuesday, March 13, 2012

LA Marathon | Here Comes the Rain

  • I lived 33 of my life in Seattle - I know sprinkles, rain and more rain.
  • I lived another 9 yrs in TN/KY area - and I know and Dog Day Summer rains
  • I have lived in Vegas since 2004, I have seen MONSOON'S

....but I have not run in those rains.   The most I have done is 1 hour in a WARM rain. 

I am days away from the LA Full, my first Full Marathon experience. We all know the stories of last year's weather fiasco. The worst rain in Orange County in 80 years.

This year, there is rain in the forecast. 50% chance of rain with temps in the 50's. 50 degrees I can handle. No problem. But with rain? That might be an issue.

Last night, the people at LA Marathon sent out another email giving racers advise on how to tackle the weather. No RD is perfect, for LA's communication to the racers has been stellar. There has not been a stone they have left unturned to ensure we have all the information we need to prepare.

Here are the tips that LA recommends for running in the rain:

1) Use a Garbage Bag:

Make a dress out of a big trash bag by cutting armholes and a neck hole. You can wear it to stay dry while you're waiting in the starting area. You can take it off and throw it to the side once you get moving.

2) Wear a Hat With a Brim:

It will keep the rain off your face, which makes a huge difference to your comfort level.

3) Prevent Chafing:

Spread Body Glide or Vaseline on parts of your body where you would normally chafe or get blisters -- such as your feet, inner thighs, underarms, sports bra lines (women), and nipples (men).

4) Don't overdress:

This is one of the biggest mistakes runners make when preparing for a race in the rain. If you're wearing lots of layers, you won't stay dry -- you'll just be wearing more wet, heavy clothes. Dress for the temperature, just as if it wasn't raining.

5) Protect Your Electronics:

Store electronics, such as your cell phone and iPod, in a ziplock bag or a water-proof carrier.

6) Carry extra socks in your running belt OR give them to a race supporter:

Stash an extra pair of socks in a baggie. You'll lose a little time stopping to change them, but you'll feel a lot more comfortable, and hopefully prevent blisters by having a dry pair of socks. OR have a family member or friend meet you with a fresh pair during the second half of the race!

7) Change your wet clothes post-race:

You may feel warm when you first cross the finish line, but make sure you change out of your wet clothes quickly. When you're wet, you're at an increased risk for hypothermia, a lowering of your body temperature. Bring an extra set of clothes so you can change out of your wet race outfit after the race.


Things I am doing:

1) Waterproofing my shoes AND socks. There is no way my feet will stay bone dry, but I can offset some of the wetness.

2) Wearing as little as possible. Singlet, shorts, socks, visor & belt. I will most likely forgo my traditional arm sleeves, to keep that much less wet off my body.

3) Looking into a way to keep an extra pair of dry socks with me. Seriously considering putting them in a baggie and rubber-banding them to my arm. Any ideas?

4) I will be lathered up with lubricant (get your head out of the gutter!)

5) Garbage bag is already packed and may add another one to my belt for later in the race

I have said I will DNS (Did Not Start) or even DNF (Did Not Finish) if it gets too bad. I have made it through Vegas Half and that is either a good or bad thing. I know I can do it, but I also know what my body does when it gets too cold. It's an event I wish not to repeat, ever. It's a judgement call I will make that morning.

What rainy day advise can you offer us racers who rarely run in the rain?

Onward to Los Angeles..........

(c) C. Ragsdale 2011-12
Run F.A.B.,

Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
Running Coach, Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
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