Sunday, 14 October 2012

Slippery When Wet

Rainy, blurry photo after 25k of awesome!

This past weekend I planned to do a trail run Saturday and a marathon long run Sunday. The weather network planned for a rainfall warning.

I can't feel my face
I could blame the weather. I could blame the steady creep up of mileage. I could blame my office and the three different people who had called in sick that week. Whatever it was, on Friday afternoon I could feel the start of a sore throat. My weekend plans started and ended at doing a lot of running, so I was desperate to stay healthy.

My friend Kim suggested her own remedy: brown Listerine. Every hour. She told me that, whenever she felt a cold coming on, she used it and hadn't been sick in 15 years. I left work, went to the nearest drugstore, and bought the largest bottle that was in stock.

I took a huge first gulp of the stuff, and then immediately spit it into the bathroom sink. My mouth was burning. I took a smaller sip, then tried to rinse for about 5 seconds (it felt like 5 minutes). I tried one last time. Kim was right - the sore throat was gone. I also couldn't feel the lower half of my face, and was sweating profusely. This treatment damn near killed me, so the germs clearly had no chance at survival.

I walked back into the office, nonchalantly holding the huge bottle of mouthwash. I got stopped by one of my co-workers on the way. He pointed out that teengagers used mouthwash to get drunk (it had been a stressful, long week at work). He kept looking at me a bit funny as I made my hourly trip to the washroom to paralyze my face and cull the germ population living in my throat.

Listerine...and wine. Both germ-killers.

deja vu
I woke up Saturday morning at 6:20am, in the dark, to the sound of heavy rain against my window. In other words, just like pretty much every kneeknacker training run until July. Katie and I did our usual weekend morning bus trip across the bridge, got picked up by Lucy, and met up with the rest of our keener trail group at Capilano College. For the five minutes before we started running, the rain stopped. It didn't feel too cold. All of the guys decided that this was a sign of things to come, and ditched their jackets. All of the girls kept ours on.

We did the All Hallows Eve race course, around Seymour, up to Lynne Headwaters, then up to the dreaded Mountain Highway. As an auditor, I know I am supposed to enjoy things that are monotonous and painful - Mountain Highway challenges even that tolerance. Luckily, Brooke found the nice side trail, and it turns out I would rather do a wet, rooty, rocky downhill with high likelihood of injury than an easy, runnable uphill. This part is not a kneeknacker training run deja vu: during kneeknacker runs, I was desperate for any easy stretch, no matter how boring, in order to not feel like my life was in danger from negotiating technical drops.

Just over an hour into the run, people (well, Katie and I) started to feel a bit warmed up and talkative. We
ran over a boardwalk where Katie had taken a particularly nasty bail a couple months back (when this happened, we yelled back at her to "run if off", kept going, and the figured she'd catch back up in 15mins or so. She did). Naturally, the discussion turned to painful trail wipeouts: Brooke's busted shin up Hanes, Sean's busted knee going down Coliseum. Lucy then played the the trump card of painful experiences - her childbirth experience.

Peter (a sore loser from not having the most painful run story), attempted to comment that childbirth - TMI. However, he had also run with Brooke, Katie and I enough to know that topics from relationships,  underwear choices, trail bathroom strategies, and obviously cats, were fair game. Okay, then no TMI until at least 2hrs into the run. We decided this was fair.

It rained, hard and non-stop, the entire run. The trails were mostly liquid. By the last few kilometers, for people that were all soaking wet and had been running for over two hours, we were all having way too much fun. Peter and Brooke were making frequent "downhill" trail run noises (pretty much a whooping noise, designed to frighten bears and casual hikers). Peter decided to further up the ante by jumping into puddles right next to where Brooke was running to splash her - a sorta brave and sorta really stupid move.

thank you, ikea
I love my apartment - the location, the small sliver of ocean I can see, the sun late afternoon sun streaming in. On weekends like this, I fall a bit out of love when I have to do laundry. Unless I make it up by 6a to do it, I pretty much have to aggressively stake out a dryer for an hour in our building laundry room. Or just turn on the heat, throw everything over my drying rack, mop up puddles periodically, and hope my gear isn't too damp for the next day's run.

Toque until next July

toque questions and answers:

Q: Some people have called your toque ugly. Do you really need to wear it?
A: Actually, I think they confuse "ugly" with "awesome" - both words involve consonants and vowels, so it's a relatively common mistake. These people also do not know the joys of a warm head a couple of hours into a rainy, long run.

Q: You have worn this toque in several races - why?
A: Both races I wore it in, I got PBs - coincidence?

Q: What is that smell? Is there some sort of wet animal in your apartment?
A: The wool toque takes a while to dry out, okay?

time to do it all again
I woke up Sunday, again to rain and pitch-dark. Allison came over to my place, and we started our rainy 32k - with a couple pick-ups on the way: Katie we got just over Burrard, and we hooked up with Barry at Science World. We splashed along the mostly empty seawall, at what felt to be a shockingly fast pace (faster than a 10min/km, no power-hiking). This was my longest run on concrete since the Vancouver marathon. It felt odd to think in terms of total distance, and not "one huge uphill, then try not to injure yourself too badly on the downhill".

what normal people do
After finishing up the run, Allison and I did a quick change back at my place. We figured showers weren't necessary, as we had effectively been showering for almost 3hrs already. My floor was quickly covered with wet footsteps and puddles. I almost wound up needing another physio appointment trying to wrestle myself out of soaked compression tights. Then we went to brunch on Main St. at 11am, and felt very conventional. I think we even attempted discussion of a non-running topic. After two cups of coffee, I was ready to do a normal people activity! I was going to go to a great used comic store on Main St., attempt to find some of my missing "Sandman" series. Then - maybe I would go to a thrift store!

I felt really positive about this plan, until we finally left the restaurant and I walked about 10 steps. After this, I ran after Allison and Ramsey, mooched a ride (napping in their car while they did an errand), came home, and promptly put pajamas back on.

I think normal people activities...December, right?

some stats
Saturday trail run - 25k
puddles Brooke avoided - 10 (approx.)
amount Brooke was dryer than the rest of us at the end - 0%
liters of mouthwash consumed - 0.5
status of breath during weekend - minty fresh 24/7!
smell of apt from perma-drying wet run clothes - wet cat / wet dog
TMI stories shared - 3
number of brunches Ramsey said he was going to eat - 0
number of brunches Ramsey actually ate - 1 full, 1/2 waffle, some of mine

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