Saturday, March 11, 2006

I Dodged the Bullet

I got SO lucky this morning.

All week the weather forecast predicted a huge winter storm. It was supposed to start raining on Friday and continue all the way through Saturday. The forecast called for thunderstorms, temperatures in the 40’s and snow down to the 1500 foot level. This was going to be the biggest, coldest storm we had encountered this season. I checked periodically throughout the week. Always, Saturday called for 80 to 100% chance of rain. The Cruisers were planning on running - rain or not. They had decided to meet at Rio Java coffee shop rather than the usual Yorba Regional Park. A cup of coffee after the run would be a nice after getting cold and wet.

Friday night I obsessed about what to wear. I pulled out a long sleeve shirt and a short sleeve shirt for warmth and I pulled out my gloves and stocking cap. Normally if its just going to be a little cold I wear a sweatshirt, but a wet sweatshirt was not going to work. I also threw in my trusty baseball cap. I even packed a towel and a change of dry clothes for after the run.

When I woke up at 5:30 I was surprised at how light it seemed outside. I looked out the kitchen window and found that the roads were relatively dry and the sky was cloudy but not ominously so. So where’s the big storm? It had rained on Friday and was raining went I went to bed. I drove down to Yorba Linda and it still didn’t look like it would rain for certain. It wasn’t even that cold. It was about 40°. Last week at this temperature I was freezing, but this week expecting to be cold and miserable it didn’t seem that bad.

I started out with everyone for a nice easy warm up. After the first half mile or so we all hit our own stride and break up. I ended up running with Cecil. We headed south on the River Trail from the coffee shop for 5 miles out and 5 back. Just after we turned around Jesse was coming up. I fully expected that he would catch us in the next half a mile or so. Cecil had to make a pit stop so I went on ahead. I could hear Jesse behind me, but he never quite caught up. I ran the last 4 miles alone. I’m not sure why Jesse never caught me, but it was a huge confidence booster to be able to stay ahead of him. Both he and Cecil were complimentary after the run. Nice!

The weather held out the entire run. It was pretty overcast and in the low 40’s; actually ideal conditions. I had so over packed anticipating the absolute worst weather. My time out was 43:41 and back was 41:16, for an overall pace of 8:30. I didn’t feel like this was overly difficult. I felt pretty relaxed most of the way. Cecil and I talked for the first 6 miles or so. I had no difficulty keeping the pace and comfortably talking. The last couple of miles I tried to pick up the pace a little. The last mile includes a little dip and I really tried to crank back up the other side. I feel like my pace at this distance has decreased since the first of the year. I know that my normal pace for longer runs, say over 16 miles or so, used to be around 9 minute/mile. It would be nice if I could keep going longer at or near the 8:30 pace.

After the run we all gathered at Rio Java for coffee and bagels. I even played a game of backgammon against Jesse, he won. It was a good time. When I left Yorba Linda the sun was shining. About half way home I got poured on and it had been raining at home. While I was typing this the sun was out but I could hear thunder off in the distance. Now it’s cloudy and raining here as well. Like I said, I got lucky with the weather today.

I don’t remember if I mentioned this before but one of the women from A Snail’s Pace running program was chosen as for the LA Marathon Saucony 26. It was interesting to hear her story. I always remember her from my early days training with ASP. For my first 6 miler, Arcy (Arcelia Palafox, #10) was there at the turn around point to encourage us. Back then (July 2003), 6 miles seemed like such a long way. She has been there every Saturday morning with a smile and positive attitude. Now that I know a little bit more about how she got into running I have even more respect for her.

The rest of the week, running went well. I got in all my planned runs and felt better than I have in a while. I was a little sluggish on Thursday but I ran in the morning before work. I usually run after work during the week. Because I ran in the morning I didn’t do my speed work session this week, but I may still try to do it on Sunday. The dirt track will be a mess though after this rain.


Anne said...

Glad the weather held out for you on Saturday. We weren't so lucky down in San Diego, but variety is the spice of life, right?!

jeff said...

weee....dodged the rain, too.

you know, after boston, i need to head over the hill and join you guys for one of your long runs. it's been ages since i ran chino hills.

Rae said...

Great job on the run!! It must be spring with all this volatile weather! Keep up the fast pace!