A story of going from being a non-runner to planning for a marathon in three years...

Monday, July 26, 2010

Too Extreme for the Xtreme

Saturday morning dawned and the skies looked rather ominous. I'd fallen asleep to the sound of thunder and pouring rain and the 5AM skies didn't look or sound much better. But, seeing as how I'm one of those crazy runners, I laced up my shoes, gathered my gear, and headed out the back door to meet three other running club carpoolers. I mean, we had a 10 mile race to run!

I knew it was going to be an interesting day when I drove through gigantic puddles on the way to the meeting spot and I practically got soaked moving from my car to the carpool car. Then we realized that one of the major interstates was closed due to flooding. As we drove to another interstate we realized how bad the flooding really was. There were cars stalled in the water on the road we were on. It was at least a foot deep in places.

This photo was taken of that same road about 4 hours later

Yet, we soldiered on and joked that apparently this race was going to be a triathlon.

Once we finally arrived at the race after a rather harrowing drive in the rain it was pouring and thundering and lightning so much that no one wanted to get out of the car. Finally, Maribeth and another running club member decided to brave the elements to pick up packets, use the port-a-potty and see what was going on. They arrived back at the car with squishy shoes and little information. About 20 minutes before the race was supposed to start I decided to head to the port-a-potties and see if I could get any more information. We'd been checking the radar on our iPhones and debating what was going to happen.

As I approached the main race tent I heard the tail end of a loudspeaker announcement.

"You'll all get an email with information about a new date..."

What? I asked several people for confirmation of what I'd just heard. It was true. The park rangers canceled the race due to the threat of lightning.

I returned to the car with my information to find that my carpool buddies were learning the race's fate from another running club member. Needless to say, we were disappointed. Not only were all of us hoping to get in a long run, but Maribeth was hoping to place in her age group and I was hoping to PR at this distance.

But! Not ones to be daunted by bad weather, we decided to find a place to run 10 miles anyway. We'd passed the bike path on the way to the race so I figured we could just go run there.

"Will it be flooded?" they asked.

"I've never seen it so flooded a person couldn't still run on it" I said.

Well, I have now. We really should have known by the fact that our driver earned his advanced canoeing badge for fording the streets that the bike path, which runs along a creek, would be flooded. But optimism runs high when you really want to get in a run.

I'll let the pictures tell you what we encountered.

Most of the path was a no-go in terms of running. So we ventured out into the neighborhood instead. It was still raining a bit but there was no more lightning or thunder. Just a nice, cool rain that made it wonderful running weather. Except for the whole wading part.

Still, I got in 9 miles and the other three runners did the full 10. And while we're disappointed that we didn't get to race on Saturday, we're optimistic that they'll be able to reschedule it. Plus, we have a great story to tell of adventure and perseverance.

I'll just leave out the part about how when I got home I learned we had three feet of water in our basement. Good thing I wasn't planning on using the treadmill.

Also, did you know that washing machines float?

Neither did I. But at least I know that I can still run 9 miles in sopping wet shoes and run it at a decent pace. I'll let you guess which one I was more pleased to discover.


Route:--Elev. Avg:618 ft
Location:Brookfield, ILElev. Gain:+0 ft
Date:07/24/10Up/Downhill: [+124/-124]
Time:07:59 AMDifficulty:2.3 / 5.0

Distance: 9.00 miles
Speed:5.6 mph
Pace:10' 43 /mi
Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
19' 36-1' 076.2+0.70 ft
211' 39+0' 565.2-0.40 ft
310' 34-0' 095.7+0.1-3 ft
413' 53+3' 104.3-1.3+4 ft
59' 35-1' 086.3+0.7+3 ft
610' 44+0' 015.6-0.0-3 ft
79' 56-0' 476.0+0.40 ft
89' 55-0' 486.0+0.50 ft
910' 13-0' 305.9+0.30 ft
end11' 06+0' 235.4-0.20 ft
Versus average of 10' 43 min/mile

Posted from bimactive.com


Mica said...

Good for you, getting in 90% of your planned mileage! It will definitely be a run that you won't forget, yeah? I can't believe your basement looks like that. Is your stuff okay? Is Phil okay?

Also, did you get my email? I'll be in CHI next weekend if you want to get together for a run!

Lacey Nicole said...

oh m y gosh... how are you handling that???? jeeeez! that's a lot of water. and funny about the "tri" joke- i liked that one :) hopefully your house/basement dry out soon... when our basement flooded this year it wasn't nearly that much water but we still had a MAJOR cleanout to do...

Anne said...

Yikes! That's a lot of water! Good luck cleaning all that out...ugh.

Yay on the 9 miles...you definitely went out there with a great attitude :)

Anonymous said...

Those storms were out of control! In the course of 1.5 hours my street went from totally dry to flooded sidewalk to sidewalk, and I didn't even realize it was raining out!

Good luck getting the basement cleaned up - that pretty much sucks.

kilax said...

Erin, those photos are just too funny (the running ones, not the house ones). I cannot believe you guys went on the trail. You rock :)

Have you heard anything about a new date for the race?

Anonymous said...

Oh.my.word. I am so sorry to hear about your basement! My sister's basement flooded last year, but only a few inches of water...it was still such a mess to clean up. I hope everything is okay!

And for the record, that is seriously bad ass of you to run 9 miles in those conditions. You have to frame the picture of you in the water!

Jacklyn said...

Holy cow! You are a BAMF! haha. I'm so impressed. I hate that the race with cancelled and that your basement is flooded :( but holy cow you are awesome. Love it! haha

Jessica (Bayjb) said...

OH MY GOSH! I was wondering if you guys got rained on and apparently...you did. I cannot believe those flooding photos, was everything really damaged? Holy cow!

lifestudent said...

I love that you still attempt a run in midst of all that water ... and have a smile on your face while standing in your flooded basement. You are a real trooper :)

Hope the basement clean up went as well as possible!

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