Last year, on April 16, I went out for a run in a little town called Hopkinton, Massachusetts, and finished the run 26.2 miles later in Boston. (This event happened to be the 2018 Boston Marathon.)
In case you haven’t heard, it also happened to pour rain the entire time, with temperatures in the 30s (Fahrenheit) and winds also in the 30s (miles per hour). I’ve had more comfortable runs.
But I did run a time that meant I qualified to run the following year. When it came time to register, I figured, “OK, the weather this year was an anomaly. It’s bound to be better next year, right? So sign up and hope that you’ll get the chance to run it on a nicer day. Because forget about the fall foliage; Boston's best season is spring.”
Well, we’re five days out from race day, so let’s look at what's in store for the weather this year. (We're also four days out from the SHAPE Women's Half-Marathon in Central Park, and if my experience has taught me anything, it's that the weather in Boston and the weather in New York are usually about a day apart.)
Anyway, on to the forecast:
No, that must be incorrect.
No, surely, it wouldn’t rain on Marathon Monday again. Surely I won’t have to make some very careful decisions about how many layers to wear, and then overlook one part, and end up wearing socks over my much-too-lightweight gloves for 17 miles again, right?
Surely I won’t have to stand at the top of the stairs at the Arlington T station, thinking, “Alright, let’s hope I can make it down these without much difficulty,” hobbling down, and then having to covertly cover myself with my Heatsheets® as I try to change into relatively drier clothes.
Surely I won’t be so shaped by the experience that I’ll try to slip references about completing the race into conversations nearly every day for the month that follows. A sampling:
The scene: A post-work happy hour
Co-worker: “Cheers!” [clink]
Me: You know, “Cheers” reminds me of Cheers, which was a sitcom that took place in Boston and ran for 11 seasons. And hey, speaking of that, did you know that I once ran for 26.2 miles in Boston?
Then, Exhibit B—Working at the Popular® Brooklyn Half, a month later:
And then, Exhibit C—The New Balance 5th Avenue Mile, almost five months after race day:
And who could forget the NYRR Midnight Run from this past year? Glad that one was only four miles.
But now that I mention the letters “B” and “C,” the first time I ever watched the Boston Marathon in person was actually in 2007, when I made my recruiting trip to Boston College. It rained pretty much all day that day, too, to the point that there were talks of possibly canceling the race.
They didn’t, and the race went on, and I came away from that weekend knowing that I wanted to go to BC and that I wanted to run the Boston Marathon some day. (And in the four years that followed, New England certainly presented some challenging weather days for our cross country and track teams.)
So I knew what I was signing up for, then and now. I’ll be fine and so will you, whether you’re running through Massachusetts on Patriot’s Day, through Central Park on Sunday at the SHAPE Women’s Half-Marathon, or just going out for your standard weekend long run.