Friday, April 12, 2013

From freezing to drowning

Having eventually warmed up again after the hypothermic debacle that was Steaming Nostril, I've managed to put in some pretty solid training for the Mississauga Half Marathon on May 5th. I actually got my toughest workout for the half done last Saturday - a 22-odd kilometer riot of hills, finishing with a half-kilometer ascent of the big bugger upon which my neighbourhood perches. I ran it faster than I expected (by a lot) and felt really strong on the hills despite the extra weight of my hydration pack and some nasty headwinds on some of the biggest climbs. Given that the route I chose is much more challenging than the net downhill point-to-point course for the race, I'm feeling pretty confident and it's looking like I might actually be going into a road race with adequate preparation.

I guess there's a first time for everything.

If it seems a bit odd that I'd do this almost a full month out from race day, it's because of a minor scheduling issue; I'd rather not put in a long, hard run the day before Paris to Ancaster, which just happens to fall this Sunday. I only did 14km the day before Steaming Nostril, but ended up with over 3 hours of training for the day, and was marginally depleted for the "race" that ensued. This year's P2A is shaping up to be a bell ringer, as they've lengthened the route from 60k to 70k for the 20th anniversary after last year's addition of the Prenderlaan.

Then this happened.
What you see above is what I get for thinking "at least it's not hailing" as a thunderstorm descended upon me during Monday night's run. It was kind enough to start just as I turned off the main street (that has bus shelters) and end just as I returned to it, leaving me with no choice but to plod along as I got pelted with ice from above.

Since then, it has rained every single day. However, that wasn't the worst part.

Note that the icicles lean slightly away from the prevailing wind.

Southern Ontario got whacked upside the head with a stinkin' ice storm. Power outages, downed limbs, even hydro poles knocked over by nasty, gusty winds.

Downtown Hespeler - Queen & Guelph Ave - completely dark.

I tried to go for a swim last night, but the power at the pool had been out for 15mins when I got there and stayed off for another 10mins, by which time they'd decided the evening was a writeoff. Out running in the gale, I saw branches down on the sidewalks during my second loop that hadn't been there during the first - a bit unnerving, that. We woke up this morning to a world imprisoned in a layer of ice.

Looks pretty, but makes for a lousy commute.

Especially when you have to chip all this off your windshield.

So with the ground thoroughly saturated and flood warnings in effect all over the countryside, we'll venture forth into the mudslides on Sunday to test our luck as Tanker makes his second attempt at finishing Paris to Ancaster - we've already got a spare rear derailleur hanger ready to go in his jersey pocket so he won't be foiled the same way as he was in 2011. The organizers have already removed the first two sections of singletrack due to the conditions, so he may have a better chance despite the longer course, and at least the temperature is supposed to be around 7c so I probably won't turn into a shivering wreck.

Posted on facebook this morning by a friend.

Perhaps instead of the cross-country skis I pondered for Steaming Nostril I should pack along a snorkel and fins - maybe I won't be missing my Sunday swim after all!

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