March 24, 2011

The Sky is Falling

Spring may have officially arrived this past weekend, but the weather here in California sure is telling us otherwise. Mother nature has really put a damper on things, not just in my personal training, but in the running world at large. First there's the great spectacle of rain and wind that was the LA Marathon last weekend. Cold temps and monsoon-like conditions made for a seriously crazy race day and caused thousands of runners to be evaluated for hypothermia. Then the Big Sur Marathon faced a big problem when, after this relentless stormy weather, a fifty foot section of Highway One collapsed, forcing an alternative out-and-back course instead of the infamous route from Big Sur to Carmel. Luckily the race will still go on, but it certainly won't be the same without the challenge climb of Hurricane Point and the awe-inspiring experience of crossing Bixby Bridge.
 relentless rain at the 2011 LA Marathon
Highway 1, part of the Big Sur Marathon course

Closer to home, the rain has been pretty relentless here in Sacramento this past week. The American River is reaching alarming levels, flooding portions of the parkway bike trail, including Discovery Park in Old Sac. The local River City Marathon being held this coming weekend was supposed to finish in Discovery Park, but seeing as it is now underwater they will be rerouting the course to be an out-and-back. And last weekend a local 50k, the Rucky Chucky Roundabout, was canceled because the trails were in poor shape from the storms. 

Despite the weather interfering with all these races, I'd been lucky enough that it hadn't really had a huge impact on my training. My usual routes along the parkway had remained above water (although the river has really crept up) and I'd only really been sprinkled on during a run. That all changed yesterday, though. I had the day off so I planned to get a bunch of errands done before going for a run later in the afternoon. When I got home I started to get ready, and then suddenly the sky started falling:

 yes, that's hail

This was literally 15 minutes before I ran. There was also plenty of rain, wind, and thunder and lightning. This may actually have been one of those times when it's smarter not to go for a run, but the hail eventually stopped and I was determined so I figured I would go for it. So, decked out in my rain jacket with my Ipod in a plastic baggie, I set off for a 6 mile tempo run. It ended up actually being a pretty awesome and crazy run. One side of the sky was ominously dark and moving closer, bringing with it wave no. 2 of the storm, while the other side was relatively clear and sunny. My route took me toward the sunny half, but the dark clouds behind me crept closer with every mile. It was like I was trying to out run the storm! Toward the end I even spotted a lovely little rainbow which made the whole run worth it : ) Surprisingly, I only got rained on a bit in the beginning, and other than getting a little spooked from the thunder and lightning I finished relatively unscathed with a successful tempo under my belt.

Today, on the other hand, is another story. I had the day off again and had planned on doing 10 miles at some point, but from the moment I woke up til almost sundown it rained buckets (for a total of 1.4") with gusts of wind that made the trees look way too flexible. Normally I don't mind running in the rain, but this was a full on storm and I was not about to be miserable for 10 miles. So for once, I opted to go to yoga instead. I'll admit, I felt a little guilty for a while (and still do a bit), but it is what it is. I don't have access to a treadmill, so that wasn't an option. I guess I could have gone for a shorter run, but honestly I didn't even want to be outside for 5 minutes in those conditions. Plus, I haven't been to yoga since, ummm, week 6? So no, it wasn't the same as running 10 miles, but I got my sweat on. And I'm sure I'll be plenty sore tomorrow : )

How's the weather in your neck of the woods?

1 comment:

  1. I'm still stunned by the horrible weather we had out there on Sunday. The rest of the weekend was really nice even if a bit chilly. So frustrating! Then I arrived back East to snow. I may need to move to South America. That's insane about the Big Sur course, I missed that one. I'd LOVE to do that race, so beautiful!