Thursday, October 30, 2008

What's that wet stuff?

It seems that our winter weather has finally arrived. I'm trying very hard not to whine about rain since we need it so badly. My lawn is brown, my shrubs are brown, my perennials are almost dead, my citrus trees have lost most of their fruit. I'm taking short showers (except when I'm frozen after a run), not letting water run while I wash dishes or brush or wash anything. We need the rain. That doesn't mean I'm happy about running in it.

The last time I had checked the weather forecast it was for rain on Friday. Friday, not today! I packed my running gear last night, thinking it would be the same warmish, dry weather. All day long it was gloomy and overcast and getting dark. At about 3 pm I realized it was raining. Just a light drizzle to drippier rain, but water from the sky. We were scheduled to meet at 5:00 pm and decide then whether it was raining too much to run.

There were a couple of heavier moments, but it mostly just dripped on my drive to the trail. Olivia and I decided we were good to go and set off down the rapidly darkening trail. I had left Mr. Garmin in my pack, just in case it started pouring. I wore my watch but we didn't know how fast we were going. Unlike Tuesday this was an eye popping, pushing to the edge run. I didn't understand it; I felt like we were running slowly, running through mud or soup or sand.

After our walk at the turnaround we took off, possibly faster than the first half. I was out of breath almost the entire way and for the last mile was only able to grunt a reply when Olivia talked. She didn't say anything the last couple of blocks, we were running that hard. We zipped in the last part, figuring that since we were done it didn't matter how hard we ran.

Turns out this was the fastest run the two of us have run since we started running together. Tuesday's just-beyond-comfortable average of 12:07 was smashed. We averaged 11:38 tonight. No wonder I felt like my heart would explode, like my lungs weren't working, like my legs were cement. Quite simply, I was running too fast. Amazingly I recovered very quickly and I feel great now. I couldn't have kept up that pace for even a quarter mile more, but at least now I know what I can do at a 5k.

The rain held off. There was some drizzle and some tree dripping but that felt good while we were speeding along. I'm not looking forward to rainy night runs, but I am looking forward to long showers again!

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