Sunday, February 19, 2006

Three Strikes, You're Out

Sunday morning, I woke up about 6:30 intending to run the trails over at Bonelli. The half marathon I'm running in 2 weeks is partially on trails and is somewhat hilly. I thought it would be a good idea to get some hills in. Plus, with the rain the last couple of days, I knew the trails would just be a blast to run.

I checked out the kitchen window for a look at the weather conditions. The street was beginning to dry out. I could tell that it had rained overnight. The sky to the east was blue with big puffy white clouds. It looked good to me so off I went. When I pulled out of the driveway and went down the street, I got a good look at the western sky. Not exactly the same as the eastern sky. I turned right back around and grabbed that darn baseball cap again. I wasn't going to take any chances after yesterday's run. The weather here has been a little squirrelly lately. Ran off and on with bright blue skies in between. I guess this is pretty normal for most of the country. I remember from when I grew up in northern Ohio they always said "if you don't like the weather now, stick around for half and hour, it will be different." I realize my posts lately have centered around the weather. But when you live in southern CA you can pretty much count on the same weather 90% of the time. . . sunny and dry. Even the smallest amount of rain is billed as "Stormwatch 2006" on the nightly news.

The trails were muddier than I expected. The mud just stuck to the bottom of my shoes and built up a couple of inches (and pounds) thick before it would fall off. Of course, it would never fall off both shoes at the same time, so I ran heavy and lopsided half the time. About 2.5 miles into the run I came upon a coyote crossing the trail. He crossed in front of me, went off the main trail about 20 feet then stood there and watched me run by. My planned route consisted of two loops. One on the south side of the park and one on west side. Just I was finishing my first loop, about 5 miles, it started to sprinkle. I debated whether to just call it a day and go back to the car. I was really hoping for 7 miles or so. I could go home now, stay dry and get in a few more miles later in the day. In the end I decided that since I was already there, I might as well just go for. Of course the skies just opened up about a mile into the second loop. But at that point I was committed. So I got soaked again, for the third time in three days. We really need the water and like Raul's friend commented yesterday, it is "preferred to run in the rain than in the heat." I would pretty much agree. Although the more I run in either condition, the less that I dread it. If I'm prepared for the weather, I can pretty much deal with it.

And true to form, by the time I drove home (Bonelli is only 4 miles from my house) the rain stopped and the skies began to clear. After a warm shower, my wife and I went over to Chino Hills to hear a band play at the Seattle's Best. The band is set up in the court yard outside. Thankfully the weather held out for them to play. The bass player is my running buddy and coworker, Terry's husband. I am not sure of the name of the group. They play covers of Elton John, The Allman Bros., David Grey and John Mayer. It's pretty mellow stuff and a nice way to spend a couple of hours together with friends and coffee.

Weekly miles: 36.4

(coyote picture from:


robtherunner said...

It would have been neat to see the coyote walk by. I was running some trails in the mountains with three friends and we heard a thunderous noise and we all stopped dead in our tracks as we were sure there was a bear, or something coming after us. Two monsterous elk came charging down the hillside about 50 yards in front of us. It was pretty cool to see. Something you do not see when you are running on the roads all the time.

Anne said...

Sorry you didn't get as great a break in the rain as I did on Saturday, but it sounds like you still had a nice time, mud and all. And you are so right about our "Stormwatch" media coverage when it gets wet. Then again, anywhere else in the country, cars don't slide on oil-slicked freeways and houses and trees don't fall down hillsides when it rains. So, sometimes the warnings are warranted.

Rae said...

I think I'd wet my pants if a coyote crossed my path! Great jov getting your miles in in the rain. Now you know no matter what you can get the half done, rain or shine!! (or a little of both!)

Anonymous said...

Yes, but he won't tell you if he wet his pants. He was already wet so who would know. Ha

jeff said...

one of the cool things about running trails around so. california is the liklihood of seeing some nature. i see deer when i run early in the morning and coyotes most of the other times.

add in some rain, though, and those trail runs become interesting. the dirt has such a high clay content that you end up with clay platforms on your shoes. i have SO been there so many times. it's like running in snow, it gets so slick. when you've got that mud on your shoes and you're on a muddy surface, it's all you can do to keep upright. thanks for the fun memory, d!