A little over a year ago, I wrote a post entitled The Best Running Rain Wear in which, after hunting for appropriate and comfortable clothing to wear while jogging in the rain, I came to the following conclusion: just get wet. While I still firmly believe that a little fall of rain (or heck, a whole monsoon) enhances a run rather than yanks away any reason to get outside, I will concede that my tune has changed a little. Not a lot, mind you. I didn’t jump from 88.5 to 106.1; more like 88.5 to 91.7.
Why the station relocation? Many moons ago—before I ever even ran more than a mile—Dr. Dad bought me one of those rain jackets that squishes into itself, like the lovechild of a piece of nylon and a tortoise. I’m pretty certain he hoped I’d actually use this jacket to stay dry during all sorts of precipitous events of varying sizes, but well…I have an “I love rain” problem. Anyway, this rust-colored jacket has moved with me up and down and back up the west coast with little to no hash-marks in its bedpost. This all changed during a recent downpour.
During this high pressured shower from the sky, I really wanted to run. I also really wanted to run for over and hour. And I also really wanted to bring my iPod and listen to the newest RadioLab without fear of my pod getting soaked, and thus becoming nothing more than an excellent flotation device for a potato bug. I scoured my workout-clothes corner (yes, an entire corner devoted to active-wear) and noticed that orangey-cylindrical water-proof brick mingling with sports bras and ankle socks. An idea formed. I put it on. I was transformed.
Here’s what kicks butt about a simple shell rain jacket and running:
1. Leave Me Weightless
The shell jacket is virtually weightless. There is zip in terms of heft, so it doesn’t bog you down as you jog.
2. 200 Proof (aka 100% Waterproof)
Obviously, the key function of this jacket is to keep your core dry. A shell does just that.
3. All Good in da Hood
A must. If you decide to get shelly, make sure you get one with a hood and a hood that cinches shut. Keeps your head dry, which keeps your ears dry, which keeps your earphones dry. Essential.
4. Open Visibility
Most shells come in bright colors, which increase your visibility to cars and bikes as a runner in gray weather. An in-your-face color says “Hello world! I’m running! Don’t hit me!”
5. A Wocket in Your Pockets
A safe, dry place to keep your iPod? Love it.
As always, I’ll continue to promote running with as little “stuff” as possible, and as little cost as possible. Your shell doesn’t have to be fancy. It can and should come from the sale rack (you’re going to get this bad boy sweaty. Don’t pay full price) at your favorite sporting store, from Nordstrom’s Rack, from Target, or even from the thrift store. I don’t promote fashion at this moment — I promote function.
I’m still wearing cotton T’s, cotton pants, and cotton socks with my running shoes when I take to the streets in the rain. But a shell jacket is now sometimes part of the equation.