Monday, January 08, 2007

Torrential Rain and Wind

Once again, we woke up Sunday morning to the sound of torrential rain. The wind was blowing too, though it just seemed a little gusty, nothing too bad. Eric and I headed off to meet the Run Club at Pt. Defiance. It was one of those mornings where the windshield wipers were on high the whole way. Our first clue that it might be a small run was the nearly empty parking lot. We pulled in next to Margaret and watched a few other cars pull in - people we didn't know. Then we watched them pull out. Eric got out to talk to one of the guys - it was another running group - they decided to bag it and go to breakfast instead. Rain wimps!

After three more of our group got there, we headed into the park. (No rain wimps among us!) We were maybe a half mile in when we saw the road barriers and just beyond them a huge tree across the road. "Detour" and "Park Closed" - from the windstorm the week before Christmas. Of course, we figured that meant the park was closed to cars, but not to runners, so we kind of duck-walked under the tree and kept going. Branches were all over the road, but it was obvious runners and walkers had been there before us because there was a narrow path through the debris. At this point, it was raining so hard that there were multiple streams of water running across the road. We splashed through and kept going. We encountered more downed trees - probably ten times in all. Some of them were in clusters - there was one set where we had to climb over three separate trees to get through. The first time I realized the wind was picking up was when I didn't hear my watch beep for the walk break - because the wind rushing through the trees was too loud. Eric and I were running together for my birthday run - plus he was a bit sore from the previous day's 50K at Tiger Mountain. I jumped about a foot when I heard sharp cracks deep in the forest, then the sound of a tree crashing down. I took a good look around and realized the wind was really howling - we were protected by the forest, but in reality should not have been running through there in that kind of wind. The rain was coming down in buckets, and I had to keep an eye on my watch because I still couldn't hear the timer. And you know what? I loved it. I just plain love running in nasty, wet, blowing storms. It was probably about 45 degrees out, so not too cold. My feet were squishy wet, my gloves and hat were dripping and my tights were soaked. I was comfortable in my new jacket though. We finally made the turn away from the point and the trees thinned out a bit. It was quieter and it didn't seem as though the wind was blowing as hard. Once we completely left the woods we felt the full force of the wind - it was amazing. There was one point where I was running, but not moving forward at all. I wouldn't have headed into the woods if the winds had been that strong at the start, but once we were out there and it picked up, there wasn't much we could do except finish the run. It sounds like I'll get another stormy run tomorrow morning - can't wait!

After coffee, Eric and I drove to Bellingham. We stopped in at Fairhaven Runners and I picked up a pair of trail shoes. Eric's tales of the trails the day before convinced me I needed a pair for the couple of trail runs I've got on my calendar. We went from there to visit my big brother - in from Montana - at his newest store. And then we went to see my little sister. She was sitting up in her chair and in good spirits. She said the pain is bad when they move her, but once she's settled into her wheelchair, she doesn't hurt, though she does feel the rod. That must be a strange sensation. We had a nice visit with her, left there and drove to Seattle where we visited Web at his job. He made us a chai tea and took his break while we were there. It was his 20th birthday...he'll be up tomorrow night for a birthday dinner with Eric, Riley and I. It was a long day, but a good day. I feel better about my sister now that I've seen her and where she's staying, and it was nice to see my big brother and Web.

15 comments:

Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

It is neat that you enjoy running in nasty weather. I have only enjoyed running in rain once in my life...when I was on a business trip in oregon, for some reason that particular day, i thought it was really cool to run in the rain.

usually, however, i see rain clouds and hide in the corner until they go away.

Jenny said...

Michelle- That really is too funny that I bought trail shoes yesterday too. What IS in store for us? Eric had me convinced after reading his report. :)
I ran in the torrential rain at the South Hill park throught the howling trees as well. Though they were all cleaned up from the storm last month. Can't (well I really can) wait to see what's in store this week!
Jenny

robtherunner said...

You're Twisted! That's all I need to say.

matt said...

i am really glad that you got some peace of mind by visiting your sister. it must really help to see the place...and you got to see your brother and son, too. you must have a full heart now :)

Thomas said...

I'm glad to hear that someone's got worse weather than I do.

And I'm even more glad that you actually enjoy it. Just don't get hit by a falling tree.

Wes said...

Holly Molely! That's almost like running through a hurricane!! You got see all kinds of family on that one trip. That's pretty cool. Hope you have a semi-dry day soon :-)

olga said...

Yep, twisted:) I think you should convert into trail runner for sure, like serious one, and pick races in worst possible times of year. Capitol Peak will be a blast for you!
Happy birthday to Wes, and I am glad you sister feels a tad better.

JustRun said...

Wow, that would be so cool to run through a storm like that and not be cold. 45 isn't bad, but that just doesn't happen here. Our rain storms (which only come in late spring/ early summer) make the temp drop like 50 degrees all at once. I'm glad you crazies stayed safe. :)

You got to visit a lot of family, too. I'm glad your sister is in good spirits and happy b-day to your boy.

WADDLER26.2 said...

Wow-you are impressive in the weather. Great job.

mtnrunR said...

tag, you're it.
See my blog for instructions.
tom

Dawn - Pink Chick said...

Impressive that you didn't bag the run as well. Brave woman!

Sarah said...

Sounds scary, but exhilarating! Yes, you are a trail runner at heart. : )

runliarun said...

Happy belated birthday, Wild Woman. You are a Capricorn - pouring rain, fallen trees, dark trails are just your element. I've been to Bellingham once, we even thought of moving there, instead we ended up in the desert :).

Nicole said...

You are so brave! I'm glad no trees came down and hit you.
Enjoy your trail shoes.

Angie said...

happy birthday to web!!!