There’s No Such Thing As Bad Weather

Just poor equipment choices. This is what my coach said earlier this week as part of an email chain that was going around between my team on whether we should move Saturday’s tempo workout to Friday because it was supposed to feel like -3o Saturday morning.

That’s chilly.

She went on to explain that it would be a good way to prepare for races with wild weather. I totally agree. No matter how hard you train, you will never be able to predict the weather on race day.

I run year round in all types of weather. I hate the treadmill with such a fiery passion that I would rather run in -30 degree temperatures than run indoors where I start to sweat after 45 seconds and get bored running on the spot after another 15.

Looking back on all the races I’ve done, there are two which stand out to me as having the worst weather conditions. Coincidentally enough, they happen to be my best and worst marathons to date. New York City in 2014 and (I think it goes without saying), Boston 2015.

It was cold and rainy in Boston. My friend Britt (who ended up being the first Canadian woman across the finish line!) and I sat in Athletes Village with 35,000 other runners shivering and trying to shield ourselves from the rain for over 2 hours before the race. At one point I remember turning to her and saying, “this is pretty insane. I can’t think of too many people who are so excited to spend over four months training to all but then spend one morning sitting around in the rain to stand up and run a marathon.”

During the actual race it not just poured rain on and off, but it was cold rain. Just as I would start to dry off and feel warm again, it would start pouring. I’m by no means a medical expert, but I do think the weather in Boston had something to do with my calf injury. I don’t think muscles react too kindly to sporadic bursts of hot-cold-hot-cold-hot-cold.

I remember talking to my coach the week of the race and stressing about the rain. She told me to bring a hat and toss it during the race if I needed to. I don’t really wear hats when I run or previously saw any benefit to them, but that hat was a life saver! Kept my face dry and my head warm.

Running in the rain is uncomfortable, but manageable to a point if you have the right equipment.

New York City was WINDY. I have never in my life experienced wind like that. To put it into perspective, I was part of a sub-elite group that was lucky enough to have special accommodation prior to the race including transportation. As we were sitting on a nice, comfy, heated bus that morning waiting to take the 1+ hour long drive to Staten Island to wait for another 2 hours outside before the race, one of the race directors told us the tent they had set up to house all 100 of us with food, water, etc. had literally BLOWN away.

That didn’t really make me too excited to run 42.2kms across New York City.

At the start of the race I remember giggling to myself and thinking, “I wish someone was filming this” because I was literally blown from one side of the road to the other – back and forth, back and forth – it was actually comical. I started to strategize and find tall people to tuck in behind.

Thanks to all the tall people who ran the NYC Marathon in 2014.

The wind eventually died down in the middle of the race but reared it’s ugly head during the last 10kms. As I was running the home stretch into Central Park, I had no one to hide behind and it was so windy, I remember thinking, “Come on! I’ve made it this far – wind you have made your point!” I had a PB to set.

This is my “wind you will not beat me” face.

nyc

Suffice to say, I think wind would be the absolute worst weather condition to run in. You can’t practice running in the wind all that well. It’s too unpredictable.

Days where it’s -30 or +30, you just have to choose the right equipment and get yourself out the door. This past week I’ve been wearing all the running clothes I own. I never find I get cold on my runs, it’s the exact opposite actually. Sometimes I overdress and come home a sweaty mess. Rather a bit too hot than too cold though on days where it’s -100.

So when did the Angels end up doing the tempo this week? Saturday – in all our glory in temperatures with a windchill of -36. It was almost 2 hours of non-stop freezing running fun.

I sound like a broken record, but there’s no way I would have left my warm bed on Saturday morning to literally have ice build up on my eye lashes to run by myself. Angel Heather made a comment afterwards that if felt badass to be out running in such a big group. A group of us were running home together afterwards and I heard a man say, “crazy girls” as we ran by. The Angels are so crazy and so badass.

That being said, when I got home I sat in the shower for 1/2 hour, using up all of the hot water and then went back to my warm bed.

Let’s talk crockpots. For those that know me, I love my crockpot. I endorse them in my spare time. You can make anything in a crockpot.

This is one of my new favourite crockpot recipes. It’s vegetarian, super easy, filling and makes a ton. It usually makes enough for three-ish dinners for Andrew and I (but if you aren’t 6’7 and/or running 120km/week you could probably stretch it out to four). I usually serve it with naan bread and salad.

Slow Cooker Cheesy Salsa Quinoa
Ingredients
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-ounce can yellow corn, drained and rinsed
  • 2 15-ounce jars of mild or medium salsa, divided
  • 1 15-ounce can of diced fire roasted tomatoes and green chiles
  • 1 cup un-cooked quinoa + ½ cup water
  • 4 ounces cream cheese (light or fat free is okay)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican style cheese
  • optional: chopped cilantro, diced tomatoes, diced avocado, sour cream
Instructions
  1. Add beans, corn, 1 jar salsa, diced tomatoes and chiles, quinoa, water, cream cheese, and salt and pepper to the slow cooker. Stir everything together.
  2. Pour remaining jar of salsa on top, then sprinkle with shredded cheese. Cover and cook 4-5 hours on high or 5-7 hours on low.
  3. Uncover, top with tomatoes, avocados, sour cream, and chopped cilantro and serve.

*Recipe has been adapted from here

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