Saturday, April 16, 2011

When The World Is Running Down...

you make the best of what's still around.

Or so the song goes. Ok so the world running down might be a bit dramatic. But when you're dealing with the moods of Mother Nature, it's probably not too far off.

Today's EPIC weather was no exception.

The forecast was for rain and wind. Lots of it. I didn't really think much of it until I woke up and heard the pounding of the rain. Yes, pounding. On our bedroom windows. Sigh. Rain pounding on the bedroom windows could only mean one thing. A hard wind from the east. Awesome. Sure enough after I dragged myself out of bed and looked out the window, the rain seemed to be falling horizontally. Ugh. I started trying to figure out if I could get my run done tomorrow. Given that hubby was going to be riding Paris to Ancaster and I was the designated toter, I figured my chances of getting my run after we got back would be slim. So it had to be today. I was planning on running 24km, even though my plan called for a 16km run. I figured because I was racing next Friday, it would make more sense for me to do an easy 16km on the Sunday after the race vs a 24km run with 10km @ race pace.

I lazed around for a large part of the morning, watching the weather, hoping the rain would let up. I could handle running 24km in windy conditions but wind AND rain, well, I'd rather not. Sure enough around 11:00 am the rain stopped. At 11:30 I started to get myself ready. I had a big debate with myself over what to wear. You'd think that after almost 15 years of running, I'd have that down pat. I struggle with it all the time. Since the rain had stopped, I figured I'd wear my Nike Pro compression top under my zoot jacket. Had my CWX tights on and my Sugoi compression socks underneath them (to keep my ankle and arch supported). Grabbed my baseball cap and a pair of throwaway knit gloves and my sunglasses (to keep the wind out of my eyes). I figured I was good to go.

I left the house and decided to run east into the wind, that way it would be at my back on the way home. Wow, it was really blowing. About 5 minutes into my run, I started to notice the rain drops. Just a smattering at first, didn't seem too bad at all. I figured I'd be ok and I kept going. IDIOT. About 25 minutes later, I was out by the lake. The wind was blowing SO hard I felt like I was running on the spot. And, the rain had all of a sudden really started to come down. I had rain drops rolling off my nose. It was dripping off the brim of my hat. My jacket was almost totally soaked through. At that point I thought, there is no way I'm running 24km in this crap. In fact, I was VERY close to turning around right there. I then thought "No, if this was a race, you couldn't turn around, so suck it up". I motored on a bit more. I looked at my watch: 34 minutes in. That's IT??? Ok, time to re-group. I figured I'd run out 45 minutes and then turn around. That should give me 16km.

Then a funny thing happened.

I got to 45 minutes and thought, hmmm, the wind will be at my back, so maybe I should go out a couple of minutes longer. 47 minutes passes me by and I thought, ok to hell with you Mother Nature, let's see if I can get to 50 minutes. Those 3 minutes were just plain awful. The wind was totally slapping me around. I kept telling myself: "this will just make me stronger...keep going". 50 minutes comes and I turn around.

Ahhhhh. But only for a bit.

It was just as cold and miserable running the other way, albeit I was at least running faster due to the wind at my back. That was the only positive. The rain was coming down in sheets. My feet were soaked. And I started to get really cold. I was worried that I might have to call Gary to come and get me. I started to tell myself ok, just get to Eden (restaurant by the Lake) and see how you feel when you get there. I made it to Eden, was feeling miserable but decided that I was really only about 25 minutes from home. If I could just get to the RBC on Lakeshore, maybe I could duck in there and call him. All I could think about was getting warm. I had pools of water forming in the fingertips of my gloves. My arms were numb as were my fingers. I got to the RBC and thought, ok, I'm really only less than 20 minutes from home. I can do this. Keep going. My legs were aching. My sciatic nerve was acting up. I wanted to stop. More self talk: Maybe if I make it to the Birds & Beans Coffee shop, I can stop there, get a coffee, warm up and call Gary.

I get to the Coffee Shop and I figure, 15 minutes left. I can do this. Don't stop.

I start to pick up the pace a bit but I feel like I'm running out of gas. I only had one gel, despite the fact that I brought 4. My hands were too cold to even try to get one out. I make it to Royal York and Lakeshore. Almost home. Only another 8 minutes. I start chanting (in my head) 8 more minutes, 8 more minutes. I am completely frozen and miserable. All I can think about is getting warm. I look up with just over 1km to go and I see my Knight in a smoke grey Jetta Wagon.

Talk about good timing.

Gary had driven out to find me. He had a couple of jackets, a pair of gloves and a hat for me in case I wanted to finish my run home. I looked at my watch and saw 1:30:35. That was enough for me. I pulled the pin and got in the car. I ran 16.42km. Perfect.

Mother Nature tried her best to run me down I proved to myself that I can make the best of what's still around.
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