Sunday, January 16, 2011

And Then the Rains Came

It Keeps Raining

Mayan Mocha at Sweet Eugene's

Saturday’s Soggy Bike Ride + Sunday’s Waffling (1/15-1/16/11)

Much to my disappointment, the sky seems to have an unlimited amount of rain up there, and the rain has been falling almost nonstop this weekend.  Saturday was a drizzly day, and silly me, I had set something up on Friday that required a Saturday visit to the lab.  It was a wet, uncomfortable bike ride for the tiniest of chores that took all of five minutes to do once I was in the lab.  And silly me again, I had made afternoon plans with a friend to meet for coffee.  As I was gathering my gear for another soggy bike ride, he called and offered me a ride, which I gratefully and promptly accepted.  It’s so much nicer going out for coffee if it doesn’t require wet clothes and tired legs.

Today is Sunday, and for the last two hours, I’ve been hoping the rain will stop so I can do my 80-minute long run without being pelted by raindrops.  No such luck, but the day is still young.  Unfortunately, I feel a little trapped by my running plans: I want to get this run done today and soon, but the weather is not being cooperative at all.  In a few minutes, I’m going to walk over to the grocery store (with my umbrella!) to pick up a few things, then I’m going to will myself to get out there and run. 

Or I might just say forget it and make today an indoor day.  You can see that I am a very decisive person.  In either case, I will report back.

* * *

Sunday’s Long Run (1/16/11)

Booyah!  I did it!  One long, sloggy 80-minute run has been completed, and there’s one more to go in this season of half-marathon training.

The rain did not let up before I decided to lace up my sneakers, but I did add some layers to make the run a little more comfortable: a baseball cap to keep the rain out of my eyes and an old windbreaker to keep me a little drier during the run.  The hat was a brilliant idea, as it kept the rain from dripping onto my contact lenses, which is really the one thing about rain that drives me absolutely batty.  Wet hair is also a bummer, and the hat kept the top of my head dry, even if my ponytail didn’t stay dry.

This run was a tough one.  I was really happy to get out of the house, as the rain was starting to make me feel like a prisoner in my apartment.  My spirits were good; unfortunately, my legs were more tired than I realized.  About 30 minutes into the run, I could feel fatigue setting in, which was worrisome given that I still had 50 minutes more to run.  I took a few breaks, including one 5-minute break at the 50-minute mark, and it felt heavenly to walk.  It was also a good time to give myself a little pep talk about finishing the run.  With each passing minute, the idea of finishing the run felt more and more difficult, but I slogged on.

And I’m so glad I did.  That’s the thing about long runs: there are bound to be a couple that just feel really hard, even if there is no obvious reason why.  Since I had completed two 70-minute runs in the past two weeks, I had every reason to believe that 80 minutes would only be a smidgen harder than 70 minutes, and the difficulty should come at the end of the run, not 30 minutes in.  One of the mental challenges about long-run training is to keep your legs moving, even when they feel heavy.  I didn’t experience any signs of injury today, no alarming tightness or extreme fatigue, just fatigue in my legs that I didn’t expect. 

The best part of a long run, especially one that takes place in the rain, is slipping into dry clothes and sitting down to eat.  I had a second breakfast of sorts, cereal with peanut butter and sliced banana with a cup of coffee.  The coffee was perfect: strong, creamy, a little sweet.  I made a smaller cup than I usually do in the morning, but I used the same amount of add-ins, so the result was creamier and sweeter than usual, which was just right for today.  My homemade brew was much better than the coffee in the photo at the top, but let’s face it: when you spend enough time in the kitchen as your own personal chef, it becomes much harder for anyone else to compete.

And now it’s time for that other fabulous post-run ritual: the hot shower.  Happy Sunday, everyone!

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