Monday, May 27, 2013

Love a Rainy Day



My body was so confused today.  Usually when I'm roller skiing in the rain at Discovery Park, snug in my Ibex wool top and Smartwool beanie under my helmet, it's October and I'm thinking Silver Star thoughts.  But this is May; the leaves are green instead of yellow, the flowers are bursting out everywhere, and the birds are singing their let's-make-a-nest song.  Season confusion or not, I'm really happy that I'm starting to roller ski this early; I feel stronger than usual, my hill repeats were a little faster than last year (6:50, 7:04, 6:44, 6:50), and my strides feel a tiny bit more dynamic.  I hope I can stay excited about this all summer and into the fall -- that's gonna be a lot of roller skiing!

It was raining pretty hard, and I was worried that the hill might be too slick.  I had a back-up plan but, except for one pine needle-mush section, it turned out to be perfectly stridable and I had a great two-hour workout.  After the four hill repeats striding, I went to a shorter flatter hill near the gate for four one-minute double pole repeats.  This hill has an angle that makes my muscles work, but not scream, which is perfect for this early in the year.  Then I headed back through the locks, which were full to the brim with boaters coming back from the long wet weekend.

Back in my car, I changed into dry clothes -- the most challenging part of the day was squeegeeing off my wet tights and tugging on dry ones!  I had a Powerbar and a thermos of hot tea as I drove to Cougar Mountain, and by the time I got there, I was ready for workout number two: an hour and a half of jogging/hiking on the swampy trails.  There was some serious mud puddle going on there;  I like to run right through the middle of the sloshy slippery muck, instead of tiptoeing around the edges, because (a) I think it's less damaging to the trail, (b) it's a good workout for the little balancing muscles in your feet and ankles, and (c) it's fun!  The rainfall ranged from light drizzle to heavy drizzle, punctuated by fat raindrops thown into my face whenever the wind picked up and slapped at the tree branches.  I ended up back at my car 90 minutes later with shoes caked with mud and mud splatters up to my knees, happy as a wet puppy.

It was an exciting week at work; my co-worker had her baby, and I am now officially, as my boss says, flying without a net for the next three months!  I had a lot of fun and challenging stuff thrown at me, and I was so glad I at least managed to bike to work most days, because my brain was way too whipped to even consider the possibility of any other workouts.  So today's mudfest, rain on my face, eyeballs stretched open from their computer monitor stare, brain freshened, muscles worked, was just what I needed to re-set my karma and get ready to jump back in tomorrow, flying without a net.

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