Monday, December 13, 2010
Saturday's easy recovery ride turned into an all-out workout. I was bursting at the seems with energy. I could feel myself crawling out of my skin, going crazy waiting for a workout. The weather was too perfect to cut the ride short. I went out hard for 2.5hrs and loved every minute of it! It was supposed to be an easy spin, but I couldn't pass up the perfect conditions. The trails were frozen, there was a light dusting of snow, it was a bit warmer than 0 celsius and the rocks were more grippy than they should have been. Perfect riding conditions for this time of year! I would have stayed out for another hour if I had time, but the company Christmas party would take up the rest of the day.
Sunday's run was the craziest one so far. I have no running experience so this 'bad' weather running thing is all new to me. I've done rain, hard rain and some slushy snow but this was new. Freezing rain. It was pouring down and below freezing. I really wanted to call my long run off but I was still riding the previous day's energy wave. I ran to the end of the street and back and quickly made adjustments - the ground had a thin layer of ice and was too dangerous to run on. I had more traction on the grass so I made the decision to change to a trail run instead of rail 'trail' run.
As I got to the trailhead I have to drive down a steep winding dirt road to park at the end of a closed road. On the way down I passed a guy in running gear, wow I can't believe someone is out here running. My wipers are on high, it's freezing and there is an inche of slush on the ground!
Once I got out on the trail I warmed up pretty quick. With the rain coming down this hard I figure I had a good 40 minutes before I started to soak through the clothing. I wore my bicycle rain jacket which works tremendously well but my legs and head were only covered with a 'winter' grade thick lycra which holds out for an 'ok' amount of time but once it soaks through it is game over. Anyhow, about 100m into the run I came upon a group of 4 people running in the opposite direction. They're crazy! Who runs in this crap? The one lady looked 60+ even!
The trail got a bit muddy but since the ground was frozen underneath it wasn't deep mud. There was a thin layer of ice on hills where the trail is most packed down and used. I made sure to run on the edges for traction. With a decent pace I actually caught up to 2 more runners! Amazing, more runners on such a nasty day? I have never seen this many runners on these trails, even with the best of conditions. Now I wondered if there was an event or running club meet of some kind. I told them I was surprised to run into anyone as crazy a me, they replied with an off comment about me wearing white shoes. Yes, I was wearing white running shoes on a muddy trail run. heh. I dont have any other shoes. I was so proud of myself that I kept them so clean for so long until about 2/3 of the way through the run. I stepped in a puddle with one foot and it splashed the other foot and the water soaked right through the vents of the shoe. Those vents are not meant for wet running obviously. My 'smart wool' socks are warm even when wet so I was fine. As I was distracted by the wet toes, I slipped on some ice on a downhill and took a tumble. I went down on my hip and shoulder, just like a standard fall off the mountain bike. Except this time I didn't have a helmet. I was able to avoid bumping my head but, nevertheless it was a wakeup call. Now my shoes are permanently brown from the muddy fall. oh well. That serve me right though as I was exploring new trails at the time too. Maybe exploring new trail and running off the beaten path in a freezing ice rain storm is not such a good idea.
Nevertheless at the end of my run I got a nasty surprise. As I approached my car I was told by a hiker, yes another hiker out in the rain, that she has been stuck down there for 4 hours. The dirt road hill to get out of this valley was too slippery and she couldn't get her car up it. Not good. This is a dead end closed road in the middle of nowhere. I let her try to get up first, hopefully her snow tires would dig up the ice and I might get some traction. I got a run at the hill but not too much as it was only a single lane with a sharp drop to the right. Luckily I kept just enough speed to keep going up the hill. In the future I'll just park at the top. That could have really sucked.
Saturday not-so-recovery ride
Thursday Recovery Run