My most memorable weather moment was during my first ever Full Marathon back in 2006. I was getting ready to run the Freescale Marathon when the weather that morning decided to have freezing rain and ice over roads. Needless to say the race was delayed so that trucks could put sand on bridges and icy patches. I was already super nervous because it was my first marathon but to add the freezing conditions added more anxiety. Once the roads were safe to run, I hit the pavement and completed my first full marathon. Having pre-race jitters actually gave me that push during the race to go out and conquer 26.2 miles.
I’ve run in every type of weather, from freezing cold to sweltering heat. The most recent experience was the Pittsburgh Half Marathon last year. It was dry at the start for two miles, then the skies opened up and I ran the next 11 miles in a driving thunderstorm! It was too late to delay the race, because everyone was on the course. Definitely makes you run faster when you hear the loud thunder booms!
I feel like I am one of the rare runners who absolutely LOVES running in cold weather. Sun shining and 38-40 degrees is the ideal run temperature for me. I was lucky enough to have this during my 20 mile training run.
Worst time of the year on the other hand for me is summer. It’s pick your poison with humidity in the morning and HEAT in the afternoon. I’m usually drenched a mile into running. However the thought of fall/winter running keeps me going.
My worst weather related story is I was running a half marathon for an Ironman virtual challenge and it was so hot and muggy and about a quarter way through the run a torrential downpour started and my shoes got soaked!! I had to run the rest of the way with squishy shoes but I finished! In Texas, you have to be prepared to run in all conditions. This is when I realized the benefits of all weather/water proof running shoes. Lesson learned.
When my daughter Kiana was younger, we were headed to Run for The Water. It was raining and got slightly delayed as we were getting ready for the stroller. Usually she would shout go faster but shortly into the race she said something I didn’t recognize, can you please run around the puddles and not splash me. So it was running around the water while running for it.
I enjoy running/walking all year round though my favorite times of the year are spring and fall. I do struggle with running in the summer heat so I try to get started before 9:00 a.m.
Oh gosh, the 2017 South Padre Island (SPI) Half Marathon stands out as one of my worst running weather-related experiences! I can still remember all the chafing, blisters, and muscle cramps – ugh!
When my husband and group of running friends first arrived in SPI, the weather was perfect – cool, crisp, with a gentle sea breeze. By Sunday (race day), the forecast changed to severe thunderstorms. We kept a positive attitude and there was no rain as we made our way to the start…but that didn’t last – about 10 minutes before the race began the temperature dropped, rain poured down and lightening started flashing. Runners quickly moved from the starting line to find whatever shelter they could – we had been bussed to the start and it was very early, so no businesses were open to take cover in. I remember huddling together for warmth under the awning of a bank and the rain feeling like needles as it pelted our skin. When the race finally began everyone was dripping wet and shivering with cold. That didn’t last though because after a few miles the sun came out – with blazing fury. It was a weird combination of running in wet, squishy, extremely salty shoes while my skin burned in the sun and the sea salt and sand began chafing my body in places I didn’t even know could chafe. One of my friends ended up having to drop from the full to the half distance because of an injury and another friend had her car die because the engine was flooded with water. It was ridiculous and they cancelled the race for a few years afterwards. But, I got to run on a beach, dolphins were leaping gleefully in the water, and have heard that the SPI Half is back on so it may be time for a redemption race!
It was October 2014 in Blacksburg, Virginia, home of the Virginia Tech Half Marathon. This was my second half marathon ever and my mom’s first since before I was born. We had decided to run it together, as it was close to her hometown and we thought a fall race in that area would be beautiful.
Well, it was beautiful… but also cold and rainy. I remember us driving to the start of the race with both the windshield wipers and heat on the highest setting. I was hoping my mom would say “maybe next year?” so that we could go home and pretend we had never committed.
Our silence sealed our fate and before we knew it we were off to the races. The rain was relentless. I could not see past the bill of my hat and I was dreaming of a hot bath. My clothes were soaked and felt as if they now added 20 pounds. It was a “why do I run?” moment.
Finally, I saw the mile 13 sign but I also saw one of those hills that felt as if you could reach out and high five (think Enfield or Decker). I remember trudging up it with my heavy clothes repeating in my head “I think I can I think I can I think I can…. I know I can I know I can I know I can…” (this is borrowed from my Dad when he taught me how to ride a bike up a hill years ago.) As silly as it sounds, these affirmations pushed me through the finish line.
We both finished and I was glad we got out of the car to run. I knew the answer to the question I had asked myself: “why do I run?” I run for that feeling of triumph when you crush self doubt. And most importantly, I run for the strengthening of relationships that occurs in these moments with the people alongside you.
& we did run it (again) the next year.
Running in the summer months is my favorite. Nothing beats waking up early and going for a run around Town Lake and ending my run with a quick dip in Barton Springs– it makes me feel rejuvenated!
When I was training for my first full marathonhis past summer. I had to get in a long run and was planning on doing a 9 mile run. It was nice and sunny. Well 5 miles in that quickly changed and it was lightning, thundering, and terential rain. I was a long way from home. So I just finished the 9 miles while getting soaked. It was not a fun run.
My best runs are when I know that I gave it my all. It doesn’t mean coming in 1st or setting a PR. The feeling of self accomplishment is something that can’t be topped.
My worst runs are just the opposite. Knowing that I could have done more, but didn’t…
Regarding weather, we live in one of the greatest places on earth. Even when the weather is “bad”, it’s not that bad. So get out there! 🙂
The worst running for me is when it’s cold (40s and below) and windy and I forget a Buff to cover my ears! My ears really don’t like the cold.
Best running for me seems to be when the temps are in the 60s and the humidity is low.
My best weather related running story was when I was in Tybee Island, Georgia for a bachelorette party. I woke up bright and early to get my run in before anyone else work up. I had the pleasant surprise of being able to get my 14 miles in on the beach and watch the sunrise! The spray from the ocean was so refreshing and I hopped in after for a cool down. Such a memorable run! My WORST was when I was visiting family in Michigan just a week before my taper started for the Houston Marathon in 2022. It was snowy, icey, and just treacherous out there but the 20 miles had to be done rain or shine! I bundled up and made it out there but every second I was worried about wear to land to avoid ice and felt so tense! It definitely could have been a worse situation but looking but I am just glad I got the run done safely!