Monday, October 26, 2009

Oh, the horror!

It was a dark and stormy night... Yes, it's Halloween week and that's how this story appropriately goes, so why not stick with the theme.

Like a new admittee to the Bellevue psych ward, it was agreed this evening that I am crazy. About 5 pm, my training partner called and said, "I'm not running!" I was surprised and asked, "Why not?"

She replied, "Have you been outside? It's raining, and not that light rain stuff, and it's a cold rain."

I was extra nonchalant. I'd been on 4 months of mental-toughness-and-running-confidence-building training workouts. I'd run in rain a handful of times the last month and a half. No biggie.

6:30 to 7 pm, my husband starts in. "Are you sure you are going out in this?" "Oh, yeah, I'll be fine. I've been running in rain. Plus, it could be like this on a race day - better get used to it."

But it was pouring rain, and hard-blowing wind, all coming in from the North, and it said 46 degree wind chill but there's no way that accounts for how freakishly icy that rain was.

Stepped outside, and, yeah, discovered immediately that cold cold rain. I headed south from the house, not thinking about how this was the easiest direction because of how the rain and wind was coming down. It's just that we're on the north side of an isolated neighborhood so I always head south. My goal was to do 2-3 miles, since it wasn't fun weather. I went one mile south on the main road of the neighborhood, and I'm sure everyone in their cars thought I was crazy. Since I knew I wasn't doing too many miles, I tried to move fast. Finished mile one in 10:33.

I turned around to head north and WHOOSH! Almost took my breath away and I had to look down to keep that icy rain out of my eyes. Miserable. I forced a new goal on myself. Mentally kicking and screaming, I made myself the deal that if I could do the second mile no slower than the time of the first mile plus 15 seconds, I would stop at two miles, otherwise I needed to do a third mile. Heading that mile back north was just horrible. And with every single neighborhood street intersection, I seemed to manage to leap right into the deep puddle hidden there off the curb. Normally my neighborhood is kinda dark anyway, and the street lights give just enough light that I can run, but tonight those puddles were invisible. I was hitting so many of these puddles, soaking myself up to my ankles, that I started laughing each time I hit one, try as I might to avoid them and visually seek them out ahead of time. My legs each felt like I was carrying an extra 100 pounds in my shoes, with the amount of water I was now transporting with them!

About a quarter mile out and I was becoming an obsessed Garmin watcher because my time was not looking good. It was looking like I might have to do that dreaded third mile. I kicked it into high gear and finished mile two in 10:44. 11 seconds slower than the first mile - yes!

Yes, today was "only" two miles to most distance runners, but I felt as proud of the accomplishment of this mentally tough run as I would running a half marathon most days. And while it was 2 miles at 10:38 pace, that was given some nasty weather conditions, and on evaluation at the finish, I felt like it was easily the physical equivalent today of another few miles at my slower goal race pace of 11:30, so it was a good confidence booster. Although I don't feel the need to do this sort of run again for a while, so if the weather could clear up please, yeah, I'd really appreciate it!

Happy Running!

1 comment:

  1. On those rainy workouts I like to wear a running hat or a visor. The bill keeps most of the rain from getting into my eyes...funny how I feel less miserable when the rain isn't on my face...