I set my alarm for 4:50 (Egads!!) so I could wake up, finish dressing the turkey and pick up my friend by 6:30. I promptly fell back asleep (can you tell I am out of the early morning running habit?). I woke with a start at 5:20. I finally got myself going.
My friend, Heather, texted me around 6 a.m., "is the rain going to stop?" I then realized that it was raining. Unlike other runners throughout the country, inclement weather is not something I ever really think about before a run. I looked at the weather report online. It said around a 50% chance of rain (and even showed the "scattered showers" icon). I figured it was a typical San Diego rain, clearing up soon after the sun comes up. I thought that we would be dealing with drizzle at the most. Growing up in Oregon, drizzle was such a normal occurrence. I wasn't too concerned. "Rain, Schmain...it will be fine" I texted back to her. As we drove down to Balboa Park, we could see patches of blue. I was sure that it would clear up. What did I know??
We met up with two other friends. Anne had her two-year-old daughter, Sophie. She was prepared with a rain cover for the stroller. Coleen had left her kids with Daddy like Heather and I. We were good to go. As we were waiting for the start of the run, it started coming down pretty good. We moved under a covered walkway. I started getting excited to run. While part of me wanted to stay back with my friends, the competitive part of me wanted to see about running a PR. I can't help myself. When I told them that I wanted to move up toward the front, since there were no chips and I knew it would take forever to get to the start line, they gave me a hug and told me to have a good race.
Father Joe, himself, was there to send us off. He said he prayed for the rain to go away and for a while it looked like he had a direct line to God. The beginning was very conjested, but I was in a great mood. I just wanted to have a good run and go as hard as I could. The mood around me was great. I was SO impressed at the turnout! Father Joe announced that they had 7000 bibs and they ran out! 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day in the rain and 7000 people decided to run? Wow. Way to go San Diego (especially when there were at least two other races that day in the county).
Just after the first mile, the heavens opened up and it started to rain. It was more than a drizzle. Much more. This was real rain. But I was lovin' it. For most of the race, I could barely draw in enough breath. My chest felt tight. I think it was a good thing that it was raining because I put my Garmin under my arm warmer and I stopped thinking about time and just had fun running in the rain.
When I saw the finish line, I had enough gas to give it an all out sprint. I was soaked to the bone, but feeling GREAT. I was ecstatic when I looked up at the clock as I crossed the finish and saw 25:33!! I stopped my Garmin and it said 25:10. Either way, I had beat my time from earlier this month by at least 20 seconds!!
I waited for my friends for a bit. After a few minutes I wondered if they ran the entire thing. Anne lives pretty close to the park. They could have easily run down 6th street to her condo and stayed warm and dry. Standing by the finish in the rain was starting to get cold. Since I didn't have my cell phone I decided to run to my car to grab it. I changed my shirt into the race long sleeve t-shirt and put on my dry sweatshirt. I called my friends. Hmmm... not answering. I wandered back to the finish line. On my way, I grabbed a couple of sample packets of Endurolytes (SCORE! I've wanted to try those things) and two Clif Mojo bars (YUMMY). Then I saw the beer garden. It was Thanksgiving; I just ran three miles in the rain; it was Stone Brewery (YUMMY)---- what the heck. As I was enjoying a beer in the rain (only in San Diego would they set up a beer garden in November without a tent), my friends called.
I was so happy to see that they were wet and happy (since I talked them into coming down there with me). They all had big grins. Sophie was perfectly dry. We stood under a walkway for a while chatting, trying to wait until the rain dissapated a bit. By this time it was coming down harder than I had ever seen it in San Diego (you couldn't see ten feet). Thank goodness it didn't rain that hard during the race. Finally, we all decided that we needed to get home to get on with our Thanksgiving festivities. We braved the rain. Holy cow. Standing water was everywhere. My feet were complete puddles by the time I reached my car.
It was such a great way to start off my Thanksgiving. I know that it will be something I do every year. I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend.