Monday, January 18, 2010

Splashing In The Dark

I'm in Irvine, CA for business this week. Being that my body is still on East Coast time, I was up early this morning and ready for a run. But it was raining...and dark.

I waited a bit - until 6am here - until I finally left my hotel room, but the sun was no where in sight. Oh well...

I headed out in the direction of the Mountain to Sea Trail, but there was no sidewalk on the side of the street I started on. I crossed to the other side of the street and there was no sidewalk there either, but there was a dirt and gravel path. As I started down the road, though, there was less gravel and more dirt - or should I say mud. Each step felt like the ground was trying to suck my shoes off of my feet. I looked over to the opposite side of the street and found that a sidewalk had started there - nice! I jumped off the dirt path to cross the street and landed in a deep puddle - I also felt mud sling off my shoe and onto my calves.

Luckily I don't take myself too seriously all the time, because the first 1/3 of a mile on this run was a train wreck!

After I finally got onto the sidewalk I got into a groove. About a mile in I passed by someone huddled up in a hooded sweatshirt under an umbrella - probably walking to work. "On your left!" I exclaimed in a joyful tone to let him know I wanted to pass him. He took one look at me - in my shorts, t-shirt and reflective vest - and probably thought I was insane. He did manage a "Good morning" to greet me back.

About 1.5 miles from the hotel is an entrance onto the Mountain to Sea trail. This looked very much like the other bike trails I ran on the last time I was in Irvine (but instead of a dry creek bed there was a good amount of water flowing this time because of the rain). I must admit, I was a little bit nervous running here alone in the dark. I was not afraid of being attacked or mugged by another person - however, I was a bit unsure whether there were any nocturnal critters living near the creek bed that would like to eat a runner as a midnight snack. I've come across foxes and coyotes on the routes near my home in the dawn hours...I wasn't sure if there were similar dangers here.

I ran on the trail for a little over a mile. I then turned back towards the hotel so my full run would be in the 4.5 mile range.

Along the way there were plenty more deep puddles to (accidentally) run through. By the time I got back to my hotel I was soaked from head to toe - and still had a bit of mud over my legs. I'm it was quite a sight!

Run stats were 4.68 miles at a 9:51/mile pace. Avg HR of 153. And probably one of my wettest runs to date.

No comments: