Monday, March 28, 2011

Rainy Race at Rodeo Beach

This race fell in the middle of one of the rainiest months we've had here in the bay area (it's rained 24 of the last 28 days, or something like that). A particularly strong set of storms had been hitting our area the past week, and the rain was thundering Friday - so much so, that our friends and race partners decided to bail (one was feeling a bit under the weather, and they're both very busy). 
Ed and I talked and we decided we'd bail as well. We didn't want to drive over an hour in bad weather, and there was a certain basketball game on that Ed wanted to catch. So, Ed picked up a bottle of champagne and we stayed up late, talking and watching tv, enjoying the promise of a lazy day curled up. inside. 

At 6am, I felt someone shaking my shoulder. "Honey," said Ed, "it isn't raining! Do you want to go to the race?"
So, we went. The weather report said only 10% chance of rain for the morning, and we were awake, so we decided to not be lame and to head up to Rodeo Beach. I was a bit tired, and not exactly in racing shape after our late night, but I was planning to walk most of my 8k anyways. 
On the way up, we had a shock. As we were driving up 280, Ed told me he thought he could see snow on the side of the road. I laughed him off, only to realize that the whole hillside was dusted with it. Suddenly, the highway itself had snow! Luckily, a cop car appeared to escort us slowly through the snowy road, but it was enough to make me glad that we don't live in a place where this is a normal occurance. 

(looking back on the snowy section - can't really see it, but the snow is back there!)

After that excitement, the rest of the drive was pretty low key. 

We reached the sometimes annoying one way tunnel, and hit it just wrong. After five minutes, the light finally changed and we headed towards the coast. 
Weather was nice until we headed through the tunnel. Suddenly - rain!

As we parked and picked up our bibs, the rain got progressively harder. We hung out in the car until Ed's race started. 

I had a great view of Ed's pack heading up the hill - people seemed to be going fast through the rain!

The beach was beautiful and stormy - beautiful whitecaps and turbulent water. 

It was a crisp 46 degrees with the rain outside - didn't make me too eager to step outside!

Finally, I headed out for my race. There was some discrepency about when my race started, and I almost ended up leaving with another group. My final group seemed a bit small (I think some other people took off early), and I was worried about being the slowest one. The rain tapered off by the time my group started and it actually ended up being pleasant weather. 

Everyone started running, which worried me, since the first mile is all uphill. Luckily a few people started walking around when I did, so I had some company. While it was a challenging uphill, it was beautiful - I could see the Golden Gate and the ocean as I was climbing. 

Once I finished the climb, I finally got to start running. It was lovely up and downs with some slippery mud. 

Finally, we reached the wonderful downhill fire trail, where I got to go fast. During the part, I got to feel like I was an amazing runner and almost felt like my old self. It felt easy and lovely. 

Then, I hit the flat last mile. And, I remembered that I have only been getting back in shape for 9 weeks, and I still sort of suck. But, I ran until the finish line. My time was something like 1:12. 

After I finished, I hung out for another hour, eating chili and reading in the car.

Ed placed a "disappointing" 19th place (amazing by anyone else's standards, but Ed is used to top 10). Apparently the aid stations were really lacking in caloric food and he hit empty during the race (plus his knee has been off and he jsut wasn't well rested). Still, it was a nice day of laziness. 

And, we even got back in time to see UCLA play the second half :). 

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