Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Yep, I am a fair weather runner...

Okay, if you read the title of this entry, you might be wondering how I could let you down... after all I've set myself up as this gal who runs and perseveres despite a few obstacles thrown in my path. Well, Chubby Runner fans, never fear, I won't lead you astray now. Rest assured, the title isn't really what you might be imagining. Let me clarify - see, it's not that I don't run when it's cold or raining (or hot or snowing or whatever), it's just that, well, when the weather outside isn't peachy-keen, I'll usually stay inside and opt to do my run on the treadmill... After all, I'm the proud owner of a treadmill, so why not use it, right?

In the fairy-tale land that is the daily goo of my brain this is all well and good, I can just treadmill away blissfully ignorant of Mother Nature. But, alas, in the cruel, cruel world of 5K's, 10K's, half & whole marathons, you are not given the option of running them on treadmills (granted, running 13 or worse, 26 miles on a treadmill might be a whole new form of torture unto itself, but you get my drift), so for this reason AND because my ever-so-persistent sister-in-law, Heather, convinced me to join her on a run (and since we both can't fit on the treadmill) I ended up hitting the pavement in today's less than perfect conditions.

We headed over to the trail this morning to get in our miles. The trail we like to run is marked and paved and it also parallels a creek. During nice weather the running water is very enjoyable to run alongside - the brook babbles along, you run in and out of the shade of the trees that line the path, there's a couple of cute wooden footbridges to cross, the birds fly, the bunnies scamper along, there's even an absolutely gorgeous view of Mt. Hood from the trail... pretty idyllic, huh? 
Only the addition of Snow White and seven little chubby guys with white beards and funny hats are required to meet my expectations for the perfect running environment. Anyway, you get the picture...

Well, let me tell you, today was not that kind of day! Today it rained almost the entire time we were out and the trail was thoroughly water-logged. It has been raining for days around here which has forced all of the creeks and rivers up out of their banks. The creek that parallels the running path is no exception - this normally mild little river is currently completely up out of its banks... so far so that in many places you can't even tell where the creek banks are supposed to be. This is great for the ducks... and for a dog who we saw swimming in a lake where there should have been a river... but it's not so great for the running trail, which according to my SIL was partially flooded over the weekend. Fortunately, today the water had receded enough that the trail wasn't completely flooded, but what was left was many deep puddles along with lots of mud and water-clogged fields along the way.

Yes, there really is supposed to be an actual creek with actual banks where this dog is swimming!

For our run, we managed to go the entire length of the trail and back... just a smidge over 6 miles... so we at least met our mileage goal for the day. But when we were finished out feet were water and mud soaked, we were wet clear through to the skin and I felt like I was running while carrying about an extra 10 pounds of weight due to all the water-logged clothes and completely drenched hair. Still, even with all my complaining, we actually had a really good time today... and I might even be tempted to do it again... after all, I do have to train for those runs that aren't run on treadmills...
It's hard to see, but there are ducks swimming among these tree seedlings... NO there's not supposed to be water here!

Heather took some of pictures of us out on the trail. We got to see ducks swimming in a spot where there is no creek (at least not usually), I was my SIL's hero of the day and shooed a snake off the trail for her (it was just a little 2' ribbon snake - even I'M not brave enough to confront something too much bigger), and we saw lots of dogs out with their humans thoroughly enjoying the wet and mud... and on top of all of that, I feel personally pretty accomplished for having completed my daily run without stepping foot on my treadmill, despite the less than perfect weather... Yea Heather and Yea Me!!!
Me coaxing the snake off the trail... you can see the trail wasn't completely flood-free!

Today's Run
Miles: 6+ little bit
Time: 1:16
Pace: 4.8 mph
Paved Trail Run


The Merry said...

Dang. It's harder to find excuses not to get out when other people are running. At least I'm prepared for what awaits me tomorrow :(

Heather said...

We did it! YAY!!!! It was a lot of fun.

I'm going to keep saying "it was a lot of fun", like a mantra, because it might just get me pumped for the 17 miler we'll be faced with come mid-March. lol With several more months of rain ahead, we better get ready to get wet.