Racing the Storm

One of Canada’s Olympians, Reid Coolsaet, recently tweeted “When I look back at my career, I doubt I raced to my potential but hammered out my recovery runs, said No.One.Ever.”  I couldn’t help but laugh.  Over the years, I have often been reminded by running partners, husband and coach that I am not suppose to push myself on recovery days. “They are about building base mileage,” my coach reminds me.  “The workouts are to build speed; take it easy on the other days. ”  While I am getting better and slowing down the pace when I need to, there are times when I get carried away with my thoughts and forget; my legs take off and the rest of me follows.

With ten weeks to go until Chicago and steadily increasing mileage, I was glad to have an easy 12K planned today.   So that I could sleep in a bit (I had to pick up the teenage dude from work at 2:00 a.m. so a morning run was not favoured), I decided to run in the late afternoon even though it meant running in high temperatures.   Like most runners, I stalked The Weather Network all day, hoping for a change in the forecast.  Nothing.  Even the rain and storms were consistently predicted to arrive after 8:00 p.m.

storm front of house
Storm clouds quickly rolling in. Later, I learned that a tornado had touched down about 50km (30 miles) north of us.

Just after 4:30, I headed out.  “Oh, my legs are tired,” I thought to myself as I started.  “Keep it slow.  Keep it easy.  All you’re doing is logging miles.”  I could feel the wind picking up and it wasn’t long before I realized that I was going to have to run into some gusts for part of the run.   About halfway through, while impatiently waiting for a street light to change, I saw them.  Just northeast of the town, the skies were black and I could see the clouds were getting closer to home.

The storm wasn’t going to hit us until evening but I found my thoughts turning to lightning protocol:

1. When you hear thunder, seek shelter.   I had my ears open.  There were lots of places to turn to: the stores, the soccer club, friends’ homes.  Check.

2. If there is lightning, crouch close to the ground.  Curl up in a ball to make yourself as small as possible.  Do not lie flat.   Check.

3. If you are with a group of people, spread out.  I’m alone.  No problem here.

4. Stay away from metal objects.  Check.

As I ran, my head kept turning towards the clouds watching them get darker and move closer and closer.   I worried about my husband, out on a bike ride, and wondered if he was caught in the middle of the rain and needed to be picked up.  And I thought about my boys at home, who were probably completely oblivious to what was going on outside.

Sure enough, despite the darkening skies, the dudes had no idea that a storm was on its way.  Hubby was obviously fine as he hadn’t called.  Me?  I beat the rain home by about 10 minutes but, without even realizing it, I broke the rules for my recovery run.  My watch made it clear; my pace was faster than it needed to be.   The miles seemed easy today but, tomorrow, I am pretty sure that I am going to regret them.storm back of house

Then again, tomorrow is my rest day.  I bet I can hammer out some solid rest.

 

 

Author: Cynsspace

I am a 50+ mother of two boys, a wife, a dog owner, and teacher. Mixed in between, I train to stay competitive as a Masters Runner in the Canadian racing scene. This is my story "Cyn's Space" - the good, the bad and anything else that comes to mind.

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