Monday, April 5, 2010

Most. Miserable. Ride. Ever.

I set out early yesterday, hoping to get 50 miles under my belt by 11 AM and a long run out of the way by 12:30. Unfortunately, that's not how things worked out. It was cool, slightly overcast and very windy (20+ miles per hour from the south) when I left the city. The fist half of the ride was due north and more than pleasant thanks to the extreme tailwind. As soon as I turned around, though, everything changed.

Slightly overcast became extremely overcast and angry clouds began to open up - sprinkling at first, but quickly building into a full-on downpour. The fact that I was twenty five miles due north of home only made things worse. As can be expected, that awesome tailwind turned into an incredibly demoralizing headwind - and rain went from vertical to horizontal in no time.

It wasn't long before my clothes were soaked through, and I don't care how many thermal layers you have on - once they're wet, they're useless. The temperature dropped into the high 40's. The wind, gusting up to 35 miles-per-hour, cut through everything I had on. I lost feeling in my fingers and toes. The rain stung my face. It was awful.

After about 90 miles of that chilly hell, struggling (HR 170+) to maintain a 14-mph average, I was home. I couldn't move my fingers - I had to thumb my jersey zipper down and slither our of the sleeves. I don't even remember how I got my shoes off. I woke up in my bed two hours later wearing two pairs of socks, gloves, a winter hat, a hoodie and sweatpants.

I was mostly out-of-commission for the rest of the day. Needless to say, the experience was unpleasant. Fortunately, the story ends well!

The rain continued until dinner time and I was slightly disgruntled at having missed another run... but evening came and the world started to dry up. Feeling better and lacking anything to occupy my time besides Easter candy, I threw my running shoes on and hit the pavement for an 8.5-mile night run. The temperature at 8:30 PM must have been ten degrees warmer (if not moreso) than it had been when I left the house that morning, and the wind was virtually nonexistent. That nasty storm appeared to have blown through. I couldn't have been happier.