Monday, May 16, 2011

Zeus, lord of sky, the rain god, paid Capital City a nice visit

Seattleites are outdoors people. Rain is here to stay, so we better welcome it in our lives. Once, my best friend asked me surprised: "Do you run in the rain?" A guy from Wichita that came to the PNW for work told me one day: "Lizzie, I saw people running last night. Do you guys run in the rain…and with these cold temperatures?" It was 55F. My answer is always the same. “If we don’t run in the rain, we would not run at all… unless we do it on the treadmill.” And 55F? That’s warm.

When spring comes, most of the people are already longing for sunny days; however, we haven’t seen much of that star during two months of the blossom season. The shiny star has only shown up two or three times causing those days heavy traffic around the parks. One of those days was two days ago, Saturday 5/14. It was gorgeous and warm, but I didn’t have a scheduled run for Sat because I was running Capital City Half in Olympia on Sunday. Will the weather forecast hold the sun? Well…No, of course not, not at all.

Started raining Saturday evening around 7 pm. At 1 am Sunday, 6 hours later, Seattle set a rainfall record, almost one inch of rain, and… it kept raining. By Sunday at noon, Seattle has set, not one, but two rainfall records. In 15 hours we had the amount of rain that we average for the month. Yes, and this happened all along Western Washington, being Olympia among the runners up. Yeah! The race is in Olympia… It was so wet, that even the most fanatic of the runners would’ve skipped a long run that day; but rain doesn’t block a road race.

I got to Olympia after driving 90 wet miles. Got my wet packet in a wet park; went to a wet porta potty; waited in the car while the very wet rain just smashed on us; started the wet race, with wet shoes, wet shorts, wet shirt, wet gloves and dripping cap. The lady at the mic requested to the cheering crowd “to keep the umbrellas away from the runners”. I’ve never seen so many umbrellas in my life. But with all this rain, I have to say I loved all of it. To me, any day is the most gorgeous day. I am alive, aint' I? No matter if it’s raining, or if it’s sunny, if snowing, or windy… well, I’ll pass on that last one.

I went slow and easy as I am tapering for my Idaho marathon in two weeks. I completed the run in 2:17. Rain helped me a lot to hold my pace. The highlights of the race, other than the constant rain, were: a guy running with a pluviometer on his hat, honest to God; countless amount of residents with umbrellas and tents in their backyards cheering on, unbelievable; and ice cold beer offered by a resident at ~mile 11. I yelled, “That’s what I am talking about”. Grabbed a cup and swallowed it. It tasted good!!!

My final sprint about 400 meters was so good, so good, and so fast, that the paper staff writer believed I was the marathon winner and interviewed me... (Marathoners started 45 min before us). You would've seen his face when I told him I ran the half, not the full. I think he wanted to scratch my answers from his little tablet, and erase the tape recording... I found it hilarious.

I was so cold that I was shivering. A couple of volunteers thought I was going to pass out and took me to the medical tent and covered me with a fleece blanket and a mylard. They were very nice, but truly, I would’ve preferred to go to my car to stretch and change completely my clothes as I know my body like nobody else, but I wasn’t able to speak. My bad. They gave me water and watermelon; took my pulse and blood pressure, which were of course fine. I have been there for 15 minutes and needed to move and go to my car, but when I flexed my left foot to put my shoe on, I got the mother of all cramps in my calf, which just killed me. I cried like I’ve never done it for a cramp. I think is the second worst after my pregnancy with my beautiful daughter …24 years ago!!! That kept me in the tent for an additional half hour while a therapist massaged my leg. If I was shivering before, I am now a 5’7” ice post. I asked a therapy to help me to put my shoes on, which she did to perfection for me to avoid flexing the feet. I walked to my car, changed all my clothes and went back to the park to meet my friend Benny, but didn’t get a hold of her. I also needed to give time for my leg to recover as my car is stick !!! Getting another cramp while putting the clutch would not have been too safe!

The race overall was awesome. It was in its 30-year anniversary and provided an exceptional design in an über nice race tech zip-up shirt, bag and coaster for swag. The course was gorgeous as Olympia’s architecture is really pretty. BTW, Olympia was named in recognition of the view of the majestic Olympic Mountains seen to the north on a clear day (not seen this past Sunday). These mountains were named Mount Olympus after the one in Greece, when English captain John Meares, seeing them in 1788, thought they were beautiful enough for the gods to dwell there. Certainly, Zeus, lord of sky, the rain god, paid Capital City a nice visit. 

Waiting in my car for the start of the race. It was pouring out there !!!

The gorgeous old state capitol

Awesome swag!!!

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