Friday, June 30, 2017

Too Hot To Handle

You know the weather's bad when this is what you get....

Houston, we have a problem.

You guys, the weather here is H-O-T, humid!!  I've had to take to running in the early, pre-dawn (literally, before the sun rises) hours just to survive my runs.  As a side note, that's why you haven't seen many posts from me recently, it's hard to see the lessons, or much of anything at all, in the pitch black.  Also, photos don't come out so great at that hour either.

Last week, we flew up to Indiana to visit Paul's family.  The high temperatures while we were there hovered in the low 70's.  Oh my goodness, I have never been so happy to run Indiana as I was last week.  One day I checked the weather while I was running and it was 67 degrees with less than 20% humidity.  I ran like the wind in Indiana.  I don't think people realize the effect that heat and humidity have on a run.  Last week, all of my runs averaged at least one minute per mile faster than my average morning Houston runs.  Does anyone else notice such a big change in their running based on weather? 

67 degree running reaction (*note - this is not me. This is how I felt.  Not how I looked)
Now we are back in Houston and I'm back to running in the dark and apparently unregisterable (new word) weather.  As much as I love our summers for poolside drinking, easy trips to the beach, and great tans, Houston summers were not made for running.  Or, at least, I was not made for running Houston summers.
Oh by the way, the weather did finally pop up after my run.  Feels like 88 with 91% humidity!?!?  That's just too hot to handle.


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Girls Just Wanna Have Run

Do you remember that time I told you that my long lost college roommate offhandedly suggested we run together sometime and I took her seriously and made her agree to fly to Texas from Iowa to come run a half marathon with me?  Does this story make you want to be friends with me?  No??  Yeah, it probably makes Melissa wish she wasn't friends with me either.
When you haven't seen someone in at least twelve years, you wonder how running 13.1 miles together might go.  Well, I figured out pretty quickly how it was going to go when the day before our race, Melissa turns to me in the car and says, " you ever drink before your races?"  Of course, the truth is that no, I really don't drink before races.  The other truth is that my arm is very easily twisted, especially when it comes to wine.  After seconds and seconds of trying to convince me, off to the store we went to stock up on meats and cheeses and wine....lots of wine, like lots.
Melissa saving our wine, meats, and cheese from our friend's dog/horse.
I think it was somewhere between bottle number one and bottle number two when we decided that the next morning's race was going to be less race and more fun run.  We promised each other there would be no worrying about pace or time or anything.  We decided that after 12+ years, we had to have enough to talk about to cover 13.1 miles.  It was going to be all about fun for us.  I even agreed to run Garmin-less.  So, if you are reading this in anticipation of hearing about my latest pace/record, you'll be disappointed, I still have no idea how I ended up running.
And, nothing says fun like waking up at 5:00 in the morning and driving an hour in the dark, cold rain for a race.  The closer we got, the more we started hearing words like, "flooding" and "tornado" on the radio.  Convinced it was my hangover talking and not actual weathermen, on to the race we went.  We arrived only to find that we were all stuck in a holding pen waiting to find out if we could run.  Apparently, the building next to us was struck by lightening.  How weird are runners that we hear about lightening striking next to us and our reaction is, "Come on, man.  Let us run?"  Weird.  Runners are weird.
I told you.  We are weird.  Also, we are a little bit hungover. 
Eventually, after about an hour and a half delay, the told us we could run.  The full marathon was cancelled (on a serious note, my heart breaks for those runners who trained for a full marathon and then had the race taken away from them.  I cannot imagine how disappointed I would have been if I were them), but our race/fun run was on. 
As we waited at the starting gate, it looked like the weather had cleared and we were excited to get on with our run.  Well, excited maybe wasn't the word, but Melissa had flown in all the way from Iowa for this race, so we figured it might as well happen.
You can tell she was excited to run....or hungry. Maybe she was really hungry.
Off we went.  The first few miles seemed to live up to our expectations...nothing but fun.  We ran and chit-chatted and caught up on the life that had happened since we last saw each other.  And then, the skies opened up.  When I tell you it rained on us, there is no way for you to understand what I mean.  I mean it poured!!  It rained cold, fat, wet drops all over us for at least 9 miles.  You know how us runners always talk about how bad ass we feel when we run in the rain?  Yeah, we mean like a mile in the rain.  There is nothing bad ass about running a half marathon in wet, heavy, squeaky shoes.  There is nothing bad ass about shivering with chattering teeth while you run.  We were anything but bad asses.  Especially when the lightening started striking all around us.  No, bad ass is not how I would describe us.  Although, at that point, we did seem to pick up the pace.
I'm not sure why she seems so happy after 10 miles in the rain.  I'm guessing it's because I convinced her to buy a visor to keep rain off her face while I left mine in the car.  Also, this picture does not do us justice.  Apparently, there is no good way to capture soaked to the bone.

I don't have a good race recap for you or any good details about how I ran or any lessons learned.  What I can tell you is that, even though I've never been more cold or more wet while I ran, I've also never had more fun.  I don't regret for a second that I awkwardly convinced my long-lost college roommate to come running with me.  Now, I can't speak for her....
A couple race photos:

Oh, here's one long run lesson I've got for you:  If there is a chance of rain in your race day forecast, think very carefully about your race attire.  If you don't, well.....let's just say, you won't be posting any post-rain pictures to your long run lessons blog...unless your long run lessons blog is x-rated.  Oops!