I don’t mean like totally wasted, OMG let’s go streaking through the quad! (That was last weekend in Vegas. Minus the streaking.)
Nope, I mean squandered.
I had big plans, y’all. With the day off of work, I’d envisioned a lovely long run in the (not-too-early) morning, followed by an afternoon of leisurely errand-running or cookie-making or whatever sounded good. It would be the sort of day that blended productivity and relaxation in perfect proportions, causing me to sigh happily as I ate my (home-cooked) dinner and reflect on its loveliness.
So smug about this vision, I was, that I deliberately un-set my alarm as I went to bed on Friday night. Surely I would wake up naturally the next morning, fully rested and ready to go, at an appropriate time.
What actually happened was as follows.
At 7:25 AM, I awoke groggily, stirred by the sound of a kitty tongue methodically licking a plastic bag. (If you’re unfamiliar with this sound, consider yourself blessed.)
After finding the culprit and disposing of her slobbery prize, I checked my phone’s weather app.
Apparently my city was the bizarre calm spot in the center of a massive ring of rainy and stormy weather; surrounded on all sides by torrential rain.
You should go running now…like NOW, I told myself. A peek through the blinds confirmed that it was indeed dry outside. Obviously I had a window of opportunity here.
I shut the blinds and went back to sleep.
It was almost 10:30 by the time I dragged myself out of bed. Coffee brewing and bread in the toaster. The skies were still calm and gray.
I’m going to go running just as soon as I digest this toast, I vowed.
Noon came. It occurred to me that all of the people who had done their long runs in the morning were home and showered and enjoying a nice lunch right now. I poured another cup of coffee.
As the minutes ticked by, the run became the elephant in the room. Every half hour or so I glanced outside, half hoping to see a dangerous lightning-laced downpour so that I could finally just address this damn 18-mile run I’d planned and responsibly conclude that it was better to call it off.
But the sidewalks stayed dry.
The great thing about winter running is that, with nice cool weather, you can procrastinate your long run until mid-day if you want to. But the crappy thing about winter running is that at some point, you bump up against the early-setting sun.
So finally, around 2 PM, I decided I’d run out of excuses. I was quickly going to run out of daylight. I got my ass in gear. Naturally, as I was driving to the trailhead, it started raining.
I had the American Tobacco Trail all to myself…which isn’t surprising given the conditions, I suppose. Who the hell wants to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon running?
I’d planned to do 18 miles with a few miles at goal marathon pace, but I wasn’t feeling it today, so I just cruised easy. The gravel trail was waterlogged, making it very soft and soggy, which wouldn’t have made for a good pace workout anyway. And it would have been challenging to get going fast in these clodhoppers:
I got this pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTX last fall as a work freebie, but had never run in them until today. It’s basically the regular Adrenaline but with a Gore-Tex upper and a slightly burlier tread.
Overall, it’s not a bad shoe, but it’s definitely heavier and stiffer than what I’m used to. (The women’s Gore-Tex Adrenaline weighs in at 10.7 ounces, versus 9.4 for the regular version – and I usually run in the 9-ounce Ravenna or 7.5-ounce PureFlow.)
I will say that my toes stayed nice and dry, though! If I lived somewhere where I needed to slog though cold slush and snow on a regular basis, it would be a great shoe. (Brooks also makes a Gore-Tex version of the neutral Ghost.)
Anyway. 18 miles got done, and even though I bagged the tempo portion, my overall pace was right where I wanted it to be. I’m (optimistically) calling goal marathon pace 7:45 this time around, so 8:45 (60 seconds per mile slower) is just about perfect for a long run.
By the time I was pulling out of the park gates, the afternoon had ceded to a drizzly dusk. By the time I got home and showered, it was almost time for Jeopardy. This run pretty much dominated my day.
And that home-cooked dinner? It took the form of Ling-Lings’s Chicken & Vegetable Potstickers, fresh out of the freezer.
A Saturday wasted? Yep, pretty much.
At least the rain has stopped. If anyone wants to go streaking….