Monday, December 20, 2010

Earning my BA - SoCal style

We don't have the snow and cold like most of you, and I am pretty soft what with all the year-round almost perfect weather for running. But we finally got us a nice big long rain storm so I was looking forward to getting some BA points.
Friday it was raining. My plan was to do 5 easy on Friday and 16.5 on Sunday. So while everyone moaned about the rain at work Friday, I was all braggy about how I was going to go home and run in the dark and the rain. But by the time I got home after a horribly slow commute, I had lost my eagerness. It was raining hard, and I, well, I wimped out. I started coming up with excuses and before you know it I dedided I could run 5 Saturday and still do 16.5 Sunday. And so I checked my BA card at the door and took my shameful self to bed.
Saturday - still raining, but not so hard. I took the dog out and we both got soaked and had a nice 5.3 mile run. A new DR for him (Doggy Record) for distance. Lots of fun. I felt like I got a few BA points back.
Sunday - Due to other appointments I had one window to run, 1:00 to 4:00. While I was busy in the AM it was raining hard, and I just hoped for a break later. Around Noon the rain stopped and it was lighter, but the wind was really starting to blow now. Still, I thought maybe I had caught a break! But I had just had a big brunch and needed to digest for at least an hour. Sure enough, by 1:00 the rain had returned.
So I just said, whatever, and geared up for 2 and a half hours of whatever was out there. No cutting short, no excuses. Sixteen and a half miles. Because when I make a plan I like to stick to it. I wore shorts and a tech shirt, lots of body glide, and a bikers cap to try to keep the rain out of my eyes.
It was fun. Running in the rain just does something to your psyche - makes you child-like, carefree, uninhibited, joyous. You  just get wet and then it doesn't matter any more. So I was having fun for 4 miles until I turned around and hit the wind. Oh boy. I'm guessing 20-30 mph steady blowing. Flags were straight out. i just said, whatever, and kept plugging, shortened the stride a little, pulled my cap down and lowered my head. After a little while I turned again, but I knew what was coming. My route takes me to the beach, and the last 7 miles would be directly into that wind, on the beach, where the wind is unencumbered by anything.
Miles 7-9 were with the wind on the beach, and my shirt was plastered against my back. My 8:30ish pace dropped to 7:55. Fun, but with the knowledge of the coming turnaround forebodingly present. Usually I would see hundreds of runners on this course. Today I saw 4 all day. I greeted them all, because we are all BA cousins, right? Two acted like wet rats, scowling and grumpy. One said "Beautiful Day for a Run" and was smiley and happy. One said "We're dedicated or crazy, right?" Both I think.
Heading into that wind was brutal. My pace dropped to 8:50+ even though I still felt pretty good and was working hard. It was just one step at a time and push on through. Mile after mile of rain pelting me in high winds. I just kept plugging and felt pretty darn cocky knowing I was one of the few, the proud, who were out in this scheisse.
The rain finally paused for about 15 minutes in the last 3 miles. I made it back without slowing. Averaged 8:33 overall and stayed on track for marathon training. Pretty sore and tired after, but there is nothing like a solid BA run to increase the confidence. I'm feeling awesome!


  1. Yeah! Did you give a pump when you got back to the house? 'Cuz that gets points back for wussing out of Friday's run. And just think, some people PAY for those little parachutes to get the effect you got for free on the beach turn-around.

  2. Elkton rule #1 - Running in the rain makes anyone 100% more hard core!

    Funny I had a similar experience saturday. Same storm I think! First wave of it..

  3. +1 ERG - and that sounded like it was HARD rain. Apparently you've been having just a little of that lately. =P

    Merry Christmas!