07 September 2008

running with Hannah

Ellen's Creek.

If you're still with me you'll know about my new-found interest in running. I chose not to blog about it daily but in hindsight perhaps I should have as it has become something of a passion for me.

I always reserve Sunday for my longest run of the week. This morning I mapped a new run on Map My Run following a long section of the abandoned railway line, now reborn as the Confederation Trail. The round trip measured a whisker under eleven miles, my longest ever!

Today I ran with Hannah and she was a tough partner - Tropical Storm Hannah. I set out in light rain and the threat of a lot more. After only a mile the heavens opened and I was drenched in seconds. I mean soaked to the skin. There was no point in turning back as I couldn't possibly get any wetter now. Hannah gushed across the road, surged in the storm drains, and coursed through culverts barrelling towards North River. I stopped avoiding deep puddles as there was nowhere else to run. My running shoes were full and heavy. A pole carrying electricity cables sizzled and crackled as I passed then suddenly a bright flare leaped from the top of the pole and the same instant I was deafened by an almighty clap of thunder. I think the pole was struck. There was no sidewalk for the first few miles but traffic was light and I was grateful the few cars and trucks were slowing to pull around me!

I had the new route fixed in my head and picked up the trail about three miles from home. The rain was torrential and I was reminded of this morning's "severe weather warning" - the remnants of Tropical Storm Hannah had spun up the Atlantic seaboard and was blowing herself out over Prince Edward Island. After an hour I still felt good and guessed I was easily maintaining my planned sub ten minute miles. Unsurprisingly I saw no other runners today. One lone walker on the Confederation Trail raised his hand and called, "Good morning" as I passed him, adding it hadn't been like this when he started out. "Me neither," I agreed.

One section of the Trail was barricaded and signed for repair work but I ran around the barrier and sloshed through some deep red mud before the gravel path resumed. An hour and a half in, I felt at this rate I could certainly manage a half-marathon. Today wasn't the day though as I was pacing for eleven miles. Even where the trail crossed roads I didn't need to stop, very few people were braving this deluge even in their cars.

As I crossed the bridge at Ellen's Creek where the road inclines up I felt my energy draining and was glad I would be able to rest my knees, hips and ankles in just a few minutes. I completed the 10.69 mile course in 104 minutes and 3 seconds. Michelle had run a bath ready for me and I sank gratefully beneath the warm water to soak my old, aching body. I love running!


Gordie said...

Man, you managed to run for 44 minutes in that kind of weather? I admire you. (I can't even lie in a bath that long.)

Perfect Virgo said...

Gordie - one hour and 44 minutes and the better part of eleven miles. I really was like a drowned rat!

C.J. Duffy said...

Sounds like bloody hard graft to me sir!
Did you have your brolly with you?

Perfect Virgo said...

CJ - yes running, crazy uh! Decided I wasn't getting any fitter without it. A brolly indeed!

Elena said...

Fantastic description of your experience, PV.
I too love running, though I haven't for a few years
due to reoccurring shin splints. But never in my life
would I be so brave to take on a challenge such as this. You made me feel the thrill of being right there with you inch by inch. More excitement than I've had all day. Thank you!

Perfect Virgo said...

Elena - glad you enjoyed the vicarious run with me! Those shin splints are painful aren't they? To begin with I suffered from them and I modified my running style until slowly they went away. Trouble is, if you have a natural weakness there it is nearly impossible to train through it. Bad luck. Thank you for visiting Elena, you have encouraged me to write about the official run I have registered to take part in.

Elena said...

I'll be looking forward to reading about your registered run. Good luck with it! I know you won't have to suffer that crazy weather when the run takes place.