Thursday, March 1, 2012

Rain, Lightning, Leap Day, 4Ks

Historically, Leap Day has been a rather uneventful mundane occurrence in my life where the Gregorian Calendar merely makes up for the approximate 0.25 Earth days per year that go unaccounted for.  Then an ingenious idea was presented to me, make Leap Day about running!

The glorious day started at 5AM with an easy 7 mile run in comfortable 40 degree weather.  As the day wore on, the weather turned, and most of the rest of the day was a downpour.  We even had a malfunction-caused fire alarm at work requiring us to all go outside in the rain.  It's rather amazing that people would hesitate to leave what is potentially a burning building just to avoid getting wet.  You won't melt in the rain, but you will burn in fire...

Anyway, the conclusion of Leap Day, and something I was strangely looking forward to, was an impromptu, inaugural, largest most awesome ever Leap Day 4K race.  This race took place of our usual Tuesday track workout to give some more recovery time after Club Challenge, and well, because it's Leap Day.  After much debate, I decided to just make the 4K a hard run and count it as speedwork for the week.  With a hill workout and another progression long run in the cards, a slightly short track day a few days after a race sounded like a good idea.

Little did I know what I was actually getting myself into...

Based on the weather radar, it was clear that the sky was going to open up in pouring rain for this event.  I drove to the track anyway, and all of us warmed up in a downpour.  With Nate declaring "this is bullshit!" I knew we were all in for an interesting "workout."

Once 7pm rolled around, we began the run.  Some people used it as a workout, others ran hard, others ran to win because well, it's Leap Day, and you get to be the champ for 4 years.  I on the other hand, was content to use this as a dry (well I guess wet) run for my upcoming 5K.

About 1.5 laps in to the 10 lap race, the sky lit up purple as a massive lightning bolt discharged across the sky.  It got serious after that!

With lightning and thunder continuing to intermittently crash overhead, and the rain only slightly abating, we continued over the waterlogged track.

Mile 1: 5:21

Not content to lose the guys I was running with, I just kept going

Mile 2: 5:14

With 2 laps to go we made a race of it, and I got burned by the two guys around me.  I'll blame my "marathon legs" or something like that.

Last 0.5: 2:35

13:09 overall, and 6th place.

I actually felt really good at the end of this, and for a fleeting moment, considered finishing out the 5K because I was on a tear and could have easily smoked my 16:24 track PR.  However, this may bode well for an upcoming downhill 5K next weekend...

Either way, it was an awesome way to end the month of February.  287 miles total, (276.5 last month), and 42 consecutive days of running this year including no days off in February.  Of course, some of those days were real, real easy 3 or 4 milers, but I'll still take it!

Bring on March...

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