Sunday, November 19, 2006

Weather Beaten

I do remember last winter’s training cycle. How could I forget it? I’ve experienced more rain than ever before in my life, and most of it through the shiny cone thrown by my headlamp. It looks like this winter won’t be different; the early signs are ominous. I’ve run 5 times this week, and got wet on 4 of these. It will take some willpower to stay consistent.

Friday night was very stormy, I kept waking up and on more than one occasion heard what was either very heavy rain or hail against the window. The kids must have heard it too, because by 6 am they all were out of bed, and despite several attempts this signalled the end of my night. After 2 hours of being called every 5 minutes or so I gave up on sleeping and went out running. The sky looked nice enough at the time, but forgetting the gloves was a very stupid thing to do. After 1.5 miles I saw a big dark cloud ahead of me. I expected the rain to be with me in 5 minutes, but I was wrong. Just one minute later the hail started, and it wasn’t pleasant. I'd got caught by hail once before, but I had been wearing a wind jacket. This time I was in shorts and t-shirt, and each and every bit of bombardment hurt. It went on for the next 2 miles and then finally ceased. The advantage of hail is that you’re not getting soaked, and as soon as the weather turned nice again I was kind of glad that it hadn’t been raining. What didn’t work was running slowly – when you’re dodging a million ice balls, a relaxed stride isn’t the first thing on your mind.

Today I had the opportunity to compare heavy rain and hail, and the conclusion is that neither is particularly pleasant. Again the weather had turned nasty overnight, and in the morning I doubted that I would be silly enough to run in this weather. Around 9 o’clock it brightened up, and I couldn’t resist temptation. Lola was incredulous when I told her that I was going running. “But it’s raining, Daddy!”. She’s definitely her mother’s daughter. Or maybe she’s just got more sense than me at the ripe old age of 5-and-a-half. The run was ok until the halfway point, when the wind and rain returned with a vengeance. Getting rain blown straight into your face by a stormy wind isn’t much better than hail stones, and the further disadvantage was that this time I was indeed getting soaked. But despite this, I actually managed to catch the one window in the storm where running was an option. The weather has since turned into a mini-hurricane; an hour ago we could see the kids' outdoor playhouse flying past the window (I managed to retrieve it. The roof has blown off, but I can fix it).

How do you keep the kids entertained in such weather? Face painting!

I’ve now run 7 times in 7 days since my break. I didn’t plan on running every day, but I felt ok, and I really don’t think 5 miles per day are more than my body can handle. The heart rate kept dropping with every run initially, but has now gone back up, although that was because I ran faster. That’s the weather’s fault, I can’t run relaxed in those circumstances. Still, I would have expected a lower HR, and it’s a clear sign that I’m not recovered from the marathon. I will continue taking it easy for a while.

18 Nov: 5 miles, 43:51, 8:46 pace, avg. HR 155
19 Nov: 5 miles, 41:55, 8:21 pace, avg. HR 162

Weekly mileage: 35


  1. I know what the constant rain is like, but unfortunately I have not been as motivated as you to get out there and run. Keep em short and easy and you'll be fully recovered before you know it.

  2. Thomas,
    Adorable children! And a skilled face painter in your house too - is that you or Niamh?

    Hail is the one weather experience I have not had - thank goodness. I ran in the pouring rain this morning - soaked all the way through including shoes. It was fun in a warped way.

  3. Hail, ouch! I feel bad for my car when I am driving and there is hail. Glad you made it out ok. Is there a correction factor for hail in terms of adjusting your pace like for wind or really hot weather? Probably not. Nice on the progression to 7 days of running. Are you planning on continuing to run every day?

  4. OK. For the rest of the winter I will not complain about the weather. Here's hoping you have some incredible days to make up for the weather to date.

    Arizona, USA

  5. omg, what gorgeous kids. i want you to post more pics :)

  6. Great Pic Thomas. I remember when my kids were that young, thanks for reminding me.

    You're really one hearty sole. Running is hale has to me real experience. You're easy pace is coming down and I expect the HR will follow soon.

    You're recovering very nicely.

  7. Running in hail?! I see we runners have some winter to look forward to. Never again will I complain about running in the heat!
    Good work Thomas, your determination is still going strong I see :o)

  8. OW! Running in hail?! That's crazy!

  9. You know what they say: What doesn't kill you...

    Although I think hail can be fatal at times.

    Anyway, great photo's of your kids, very adorable.