Tag Archives: rain

Quietus

Today it rained. Heavily.  

But still I ran anyway. I was soaked before I reached the end of my road and still I ran. Nine miles to go.  

I let the quiet into my mind. I turned off my podcast (Maron’s exceptional interview with Gary Shandling WTFPod) and let the world run through me. 

The road became a membrane keeping me from the reflected world of pre-dawn shadows, sliding silently underfoot. Trapped with no-one to witness their existence and exquisite beauty save me and the few brave birds feasting on worms afraid to drown. 

A guitar riff started to cycle around and around in my mind, transitioning to my hand so that as I ran I fingered the frets of an invisible guitar. Imperceptible to a world at large.  

Twice I felt the rain pick up and turn from constant into drenching. And still the world was silent but for the thoughts echoing… Echoing…

Eventually even the thoughts went quiet as the weather washed over me and my conscious mind drifted away. Absent. A body gliding through space. Unaware. 

When my mind returned I was startled by their absence. I was at least half a mile further down the road and still treading the correct course; autopilot. 

My footsteps, like heartbeats, lost to time and beyond the grasp of my conscious mind. 

And still it rained until, at last, I arrived home sodden and at peace. Quietus. 

  

Advertisements

Ouch: Watch Out for Sleeping Policemen. 

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I tripped on a sleeping policeman (speed bump) while running through a local school. 

Well, it happened again and this time I didn’t manage to catch myself. 😦

I was running the route in the reverse direction, uphill, in the rain and dark, and I got past the one I tripped on previously. 

Because of that I let my mind wander and take in the scene. Bang. 

Suddenly I’m on the deck. Damned if there wasn’t another one lurking in the shadows, waiting to trip me. 

When I went down I cut my knee, my elbow and my hand. I also scratched my glasses which I was carrying in my hand because of the rain; lucky they didn’t get totalled! I also broken the clasp on my knuckle light, rendering it useless.  

By the end of my run my leg was a blooded mess. Turn away if you are squeamish. 

.

.

.

.

 
.

.

.

It looks impressive but it was only a small cut that bled down my leg as I continued to run. 

For the remainder of the run I was very carefully not to trip on anything else and used my knuckle light far more. I was determined not to stop the run because of it though. 

The cuts have bruises around them and are a little sore but guess we’ll find out how bad they really are after a day or so. Hopefully no real damage. 

So I ordered some new knuckle lights as I don’t want to be without those. 

Life carries on but I’ll think twice before running that stretch of path again… Me and my stupid wandering brain. 😉

Another Taper Week

I’m trying to keep my runs on the shorter side this week because I have the annual MS Society City to Shore bike ride this weekend.

Thus far I’ve done two five mile runs on Monday and Wednesday, and I’ll probably do one other before the weekend.

The ride starts in Cherry Hill, NJ and goes to Ocean City, NJ. The outward bound trip is about 100 miles and the return is 80. To spice it up again, this time I’ve decided that I will do a half-marathon when I reach the end on the first day… Because cycling one hundred miles isn’t enough stupid for one day!

Unfortunately the weather for this year’s event doesn’t look quite as good as it has been in past years. This is partly because it is later than normal due to being bumped by the Pope’s visit to Philly last weekend.

Typically, we don’t let the weather dampen our spirits on a ride like this, after all, any suffering we have for the weekend pales when compared to the daily suffering of people with MS. The ride does tend to bring out a certain amount of comradarie among the riders and that is often amplified by the rain. However, it does mean that we need to carry extra spare tubes because any rain washes the debris to the side of the road causing myriad punctures. It also lowers the speed of the riders, so I’m glad I’m not trying to do 125 miles down this year.

IMG_3851This was me (2nd from left) with some of my teammates last year. The weather was very nice. I love this riding kit as it brings out the super-hero in everyone!

Today’s run had a light rain falling and I managed to step shoe deep in one puddle when I wasn’t paying attention. 5.16 miles at a relaxed 8:14 pace. 

My sponsorship page is, if you can chip in: MS150 Sponsorship page. Thanks.

Update on Those Around Me

In life we survive not as one but as a part of a larger circle of people. It is often these folks that help to make us complete and help us through when things are harder. 

This weekend my wife completed her thirteenth State half-marathon and is now officially over a quarter of the way through the set. 

This time it was Michigan and a run from Dexter to Ann Arbor and it rained. Sorry, that’s an understatement. It *RAINED*. A couple of days beforehand and then through to mile seven of her run. She completed it and got back home to me and the kids quickly. 

Well done, m’dear! The new medal rack is starting to look quite full already.  

And some other news… 

My friend that I’ve been running with for the last eight months broke another goal as he FLEW through the 200lbs mark. After plateauing in the 200-210lbs range for a while and slowly creeping down towards the big two-oh-oh, he finally shot through it down to 197.5! That makes his overall weight loss an incredible 212.5lbs. Inconceivable. 

He is less than half the man he used to be. And that’s a good thing. 

To celebrate we ran tonight. In the pouring rain. On a muddy trail. By the river. It was perfect!

If you ever want to feel truly connected to the world I suggest choosing to run in the rain. It doesn’t count if it starts to rain while you are already out… You have to choose to go out when it is already raining. 

Everything is different. The temps were a wonderful 61F and the path was flooded in places so we had to stay light on our feet to jump over the puddles; I swear it’s like being a kid again. There were no bugs out either! The sound of the rain and the thunder was very relaxing. 

Today is also the start of a new month so we changed our intervals up to be an even split; 2:15 running followed by 2:15 recovery. Consequently we set a new record of 1:12:22 for the 6.22 miles. 

Life is good. Don’t hide away when it is wet. Get out there and embrace the world. Value those around you. 

Not a Creature Was Stirring…

Well, that’s not entirely true. There were deer. Three of them. There were squirrels; myriad. There was also a runner… Just one. Who smiled and acknowledged us. But that’s it. No one and nothing else about.

My friend and I went for a 6.4 mile run/walk along the northern part of the Perkiomen Trail starting at the Spring Mountain Cedar Road trailhead. It was the first time I had driven to this point on the trail and when you do that you realise quite how far out in the sticks it is. Normally I run to this point.

The mountain (hill, really) is lovely and all the rocks that are scattered around the slopes stand out against the leaves covering the ground. The slope down to the river is a steep 12% and we didn’t run this because I didn’t want my friend to risk injuring his knees; plus it was raining a lot and I wasn’t sure whether the slope would offer good traction to us.

The trail going north is so very picturesque and even in a heavy downpour it was just a pleasure being out there.

1hour 38 mins for 6.4 miles with 45 secs running and 4:15 recovery. Starting next run we will change the intervals again. The run won the mapmyrun Night Before Christmas award; it’s official. I am an animal that stirs.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/5e7/55986753/files/2014/12/img_4098.pngWhat a great award for Christmas Eve.

Gentle, Short, Fast Run

I know that the title sounds like a paradox but I’m supposed to be tapering in preparation for two long runs on Boxing Day (26th).

However, when I hit the streets today my legs were rolling really smoothly and quickly. I was later than normal and had done some stretches earlier in the morning. Everything felt well oiled and I was pounding the streets without much of a warm up period.

I was out of breath on the first hill but then heard THE VOICE IN MY PHONE tell me that I was running a 7:30 pace uphill. Hmm, cool. At that point I decided I would run four miles rather than the three I had planned, and I accelerated down the other side of the hill.

The rest of the run passed quickly. It was a little like running in England today as there was a light mist of rain and grey skies. The temperature was a balmy 50F though so I cannot complain!

7:15 pace over four miles. Hardly the relaxing run I had anticipated but a good result nonetheless.

Can Walk/Runners Call Themselves Runners?

I’ve been pondering this question for while.

Previously I would have said an outright ‘no’ and not have listened or thought any further about it as I lightly bounced past them on the trail. But since I’ve spent time helping my friend transition to a place where he can now run 30secs and walk 4:30 mins, I have to say my position has changed.

To see the effort put in and the mental push to achieve that running interval, I now truly believe that run/walk does fully qualify as running. And it makes me remember that I too went through that process a long time ago. I had forgotten it, but it is true. I also ran/walked when I started out. I don’t remember how I felt about it at the time but then I didn’t really know any other runners at the time. I had no point of reference to compare to.

It is heartening to me to see this transformation in my friend and to see how he embraces the challenge of the interval sections. And not begrudgingly but willingly. Well, at least for the first 10 or so. Then it becomes even more of a mental battle.

Today we covered 6.5 miles and did 17 intervals of 30 seconds. This is close to double the amount we did last week and is a significant amount of extra effort. How brilliant is that? Each week has seen an improvement and that is amazing to me.

Running has been easy for me for a while as I built up to it slowly over many years. But to help someone else along the path to running is really inspiring. To see how they push themselves further each week and to see how much stronger they become because of it is truly inspiring. At the same time trying to ensure that they don’t push too hard and get injured; it is a delicate balance.

6.5 miles in 1:43:00. As my ‘waze’ app said this morning: awesome-sauce.

We were hit with sun, rain, sleet and hail during the walk but every single change made us smile. Autumn is a good season to be out and about.

Walk a Little. Run a Little.

Yesterday I walked with my friend on the Betzwood River Trail at Valley Forge Park. It is a great trail that provides good tree cover and is almost completely flat. The cover was particularly good because it poured down on us.

We knew it was coming. The storm had been forecast for days but still we went out. I’m trying to gradually lure him into the madness of a runner’s mindset.

It was a great walk and it was fast. In fact, it was 15 mins faster than when we did it two weeks ago. To get that much faster is impressive. I think he is coming along just fine. The warm embrace of crazy awaits him.

We only saw one other person out on the trail and normally it is busy regardless of time or weather so that gives an indication as to how much rain there was.

Soon we will have to introduce some running intervals as we completed 6.2 miles in 1 hour 49 mins. We were absolutely drenched but smiling from ear to ear. Awesome.

Today my legs would not budge. Whether it was because of tiredness or from the long walk yesterday, I don’t know. All I can say is my quads and glutes were not willing to engage properly so I crawled along at a sedentary pace. However, I did the run and I enjoyed it despite a slight sore throat. 6.6 miles at 8:27 pace won’t bust any records but I will cut myself some slack because I have to allow for three road crossings that were very slow due to traffic; it was busy out there today due to trees down from the rain.

Washing The Track and Spinning My Legs

20140501-072605.jpg

Last night’s track work out was very difficult. Not just because my legs are a little tired from the weekends activities, but also because it rained very, very hard. Thunder started right at the end of the session but the rain was that thick splatty rain that drenches you. Fortunately I knew about it in advance and took my goretex cycling jacket to keep me mostly dry. Only four people turned up if that’s a measure of how wet it was. It gave the track a good clean though.

The routine for the evening was 400@1 mile race pace, 200 recovery, 2x 200 @1 mile pace with 200 recovery. Then all of this was repeated three times.

This morning I went out for a gentle 4.6 miler just to spin out my legs a little. It was quite hard going and I didn’t really ever feel like I got going properly. Plus, my Brooks Dyad 7 shoes were rubbing on my left ankle.

Today the they are breaking ground on a new pedestrian bridge in Valley Forge Park; Sullivan’s Bridge. This will replace the current ramshackle wooden bridge that hangs on the side of the road bridge. It is narrow, dangerous and constantly has planks missing from the flooring so it will be good to get rid of this. The trails around here are really heavily used and providing a connector to the main park will be a big improvement. Hurrah as this is part of my cycle commute route.

Run On

It’s 5am and warm in bed.
Another 10 minutes.
Run On.

The noise in the hotel corridor.
That’s rain. A lot of rain.
Run On.

The drunk guys making snarky comments
As you head from the elevator to the door.
Run On.

Within 100 yards you are soaked to the skin.
Another 100 and you are soaked to the bone. Smile.
And Run On.

The first deep puddle that drenches your left foot
And the right soon follows suit.
Run On.

Squelch. Squerch. Splot.
And more of the same.
Run On.

The harbour lights reflect in a complex dance on the rough marina bay.
Run On.

Who thought that marble would be a good material to put around their building in a place where it rains like this?
Opulent, yes.
Run On carefully.

Will the underpasses be flooded?
What a surprise they are dry. Perhaps I could wait for the rain to slow.
No, Run On.

The cars have all pulled over because they cannot see to drive.
Pull down the brim of your hat. Tilt your head forward and
Run On.

Do I need to shower at the end?
Probably, but the clothes do not need a wash.
Run On.

Just how wet was it?
My fingers are wrinkly.
Run On, my friends, Run On.

It seems to rain quite hard in Singapore.