Today I ran around the wine region of Penedés. I participated in the XXIX Mitja marató L’Espirall — The 29th Espirall half-marathon. I cannot say other than the weather conditions were very good … for wine making, that is. The trees did not suffer from any deficiency in water supply.
Until today I have found Spanish meteorologists rather pessimistic. They forecast rain more often than it actually rains. The pattern is usually as follows. It rains the hardest in the 10 day forecast but as the prediction period becomes smaller the rain decreases. On the day it hardly ever rains.
Over the last few days I have been following the forecast for today. The long term forecast said pouring rain. The short term forecast said pouring rain. The forecast this morning said pouring rain. When I left the house it was cloudy but dry.
A few drops started to fall when I left Barcelona for Vilafranca del Penedés together with a few other runners. Not a bad weather for running. Soon the weather changed. The rain started to pour down. It rained so hard that it occurred to us to bail out on the race. But as we arrived in Vilafranca the rain had stopped. It was not a bad weather for running. So we decided to go for the race.
A few minutes before the race started the rain started again. When we ran over the starting line the rain was pouring. The future for next two hours did not look bright.
Despite the rain I got a good feeling for the race. I actually found the rain refreshing. I felt as if the rain gave me extra strength. I felt that these conditions were better for me than the sunny weather I have had to struggle with in my previous races here in Spain.
To make a long story short — and perhaps a bit dry — it rained more or less the whole race. The first hour and a half it alternated between pouring rain and heavy rain. For the remaining part it alternated between almost-not-raining and raining. There was thus no shortage of energizing strength from above.
I ran the first 10k on a even pace — 27:02 minutes and 27:10 minutes respectively each of the 5k. I lost a bit of pace over the next 5k and ran it in 27:29 minutes — it should be noted that this part was mostly uphill. After reaching the 15k mark I was so soaked with energizing water that I switched a gear and ran the next 5k in 26:27 minutes. I was pleasantly surprised how fast I was toward the end.
I finished the race in 1:53:51 — four minutes faster than a month ago — and on a personal best. It is clear that I will dance a rain dance before my next race in the hope that I will get a similar dose of refreshing strength from above.