The weather has been less than ideal lately. But, then again, I suppose that depends on your definition of ideal. For me, ideal is what it's like in Hawaii or Australia right now so, yes, a bit of a pipedream for Victoria. Everyday I wake up, look out the window and utter a tiny, quiet whimper as I realize that yes, it is 7 degrees and raining.... again.
For those who live on the west coast, you know how wet it has been. I've made the commitment to ride outside this Fall, so for the first year in a very long time, the rollers and trainer are not a permanent fixture of our living room. Instead, our balcony is strewn with the remnants of each days adventures (muddy shoes, filthy cross bike, random soaked bike gear that has yet to make its way to the washer, and even a wet "rain suit" for the scooter). I guess the upside is that our apartment stays remarkably tidy as the balcony becomes the change room. It's good thing it's winter as any company we might have will have no desire to even open that door!
Today I did something unexpected. Adam was racing the Gunner Shaw 10km cross country race at Thetis Lake. This race is honestly epic. Here is the course description: All trails, many tough hills, rocky, rough, always wet - a classic Autumn race. And the race features: Great course with roots, rocks, stumps, puddles, branches, boulders - no whining! I did the race a few years back and I remember doing some serious whining. I was out of shape and had unreasonable expectations. I really was hard on myself after that race and vowed never to do it again. Last night something changed and I emailed Phil to ask if he thought I could do my base run as part of the race. NOT race, just run and enjoy the atmosphere. He writes back saying, "Yes, do the race and feel free to run hard!" I don't like being given options like that and after hearing this I can't just run easy. So, before I knew it, I was committed to a "race"! I had about a 10 minute turnaround between my morning cross ride and the race. Enough time drop one load of wet clothes on the balcony, grab a chocolate croissant and coffee from downstairs and head to Thetis.
This year I had no expectations... other than having fun. It was as yucky as you can imagine out there and I knew what was coming because this race is always mucky, even on drier years. I didn't expect WAIST-DEEP puddles though. Two of them, about 50m long each. Honestly, I am not exaggerating and I will find some photos to document this. I couldn't even run through them, just walked while laughing. And they were friggin' cold. It was hilarious to attempt to find a rhythm with numb logs for legs after each of these mini-lakes. I was amazed though how warm the little puddles felt after this, almost like bath water. And of course in traditional Gunner Shaw style, the race finished with a quick run through the actual lake. When posted, results can be found here.
I had another quick turnaround (and balcony change) before heading off to Starling Lane Winery to talk logistics for the wedding (which is one month today!!). I have to admit, it was a relief to visit the site during the worst possible weather conditions and still find it to be quite lovely. It really is a magical spot and I get goosebumps thinking about what's to come.
I think we should try it before the wedding, just to be sure it's a good one :)