Ike made for a very difficult 10 mile run today. But now I feel more prepared for the half that is at the end of this month.
I started out late, after eating and relaxing and stretching. It was probably 12:30 or 1:00 when I finally left the house. It was hot in the morning so what did it matter if I ran later? I thought I'd at least eat a good breakfast and wait for my body to wake up.
The good thing (and bad thing it later proved to be on more than one occasion) was it was windy! So that would keep me cool. Yeah.
During the first couple of miles through the neighborhood that attaches to ours via the salt barn path, 4 jets flew over. People were outside looking at them and I began to wonder a bit if something was going on. But then a lady asked me if I saw any Cinergy trucks around – their power was out. So I guess everyone was coming outside to discuss the outage and also noted the jets. (Maybe the jets did a fly over for the Bungles game?) The lady told me there was a wind advisory and we figured that's why their power was out.
After leaving that neighborhood, I did notice the strong wind – especially when I crossed over the highway. When there were pockets of no wind, I desperately begged for it to come back and cool me off. I turned onto Duke Blvd and when the wind did blow, it was a glorious tailwind. The lack of trees made it feel desert-like, but I was feeling great for the most part. I took a gel around 3.5 miles and turned left onto Socialville-Foster, enjoying the wind coming at me from the side. Then I turned right onto Mason-Montgomery to experience the strongest tailwind ever. At times it felt like someone was pushing me along. I took advantage of it the best I could, feeling fast and strong. At mile 5, I turned around.
And then it sucked.
At first it was funny. Ha! Look it's like I'm standing still! But the smile was soon wiped off my face as I struggled to run with the increasingly stronger wind. It became discouraging. Wow, I would have been to the corner already if I still had that tailwind. Then the reality of the effort sank into my muscles and lungs and I had to walk. This is rediculous. I'm never going to get home! And I have at least one more street o' headwind like this! It felt like I had people attached to me, trying to pull me back. Or as if I was going up the longest hill ever.
I probably walked a half mile. Back on Socialville-Foster I had the side wind again to recover with. I wished I had brought money with me to buy a Gatorade, as the now hot water in my fuel belt just wasn't cutting it. I dreaded going back onto Duke Blvd.
On hilly Duke Blvd, the wind gusts were so strong, sometimes I would stand still for a second, mid run. I walked the uphills and even that was hard, as I leaned forward quite a bit into the wind, way over my shoes. And then the nice big downhill I so looked forward to betrayed me. Even on a steepish descent I felt like I was going uphill. Surreal. I did catch some nice water spray from the corporate park retension ponds. The other things I caught were leaves in my face. That hurt.
I made it back to the nieghborhood that is adjacent to ours, and it was a different scene. Now I was hopping and jumping over fallen mini-logs and branches that were all over the streets and sidewalk. About every 5th house had a tree in the front yard that was half-fallen.
It wasn't until I turned from the salt barn path to our road when I began to think about our house, cars, yard and trees. As I ran through our neighborhood, I saw just how many trees and branches were all over and thought, Our problem tree fell. Then I thought, I hope Greg thought to bring the dogs in. Next thought: What if Dexter and Harley got smashed by a falling tree! Or got out of the yard because it crushed the fence!? (I did know that from the direction of the wind, it wouldn't be falling towards the garage or house, thankfully) Final thought: What if Greg is under the tree!!!!??? I'm glad I didn't start thinking about it until a half mile to go. :)
As soon as I was close, I began looking at the tree lines. About 2 houses away, I thought our tree line looked wrong. Approaching our house, I only counted 2 trees - but maybe they were just blowing together??
I walked in the house and saw the dining room curtain was closed. That gave me the answer. I pulled the curtain open. Tree down. Dogs and Greg safe. Fence broken. Neighbors yard full of our tree. (Pictures coming soon...)
Our tree also took out another tree (not sure whose tree it is/was) that was dead. And a huge limb the size of tree itself fell off our former middle tree.
It definitely could have been worse (see above rambling thoughts). It was a tree we were planning to take down this fall after the leaves were gone, but Monther Nature sped up that process for us.
The carnage through our neighborhood was plentiful, as well as the houses along the drive to Loveland. We drove to my studio after the winds subsided. On the way we saw a tree that had completely come out of the ground, taking a huge patch of land with it, and had landed on top of the house. Bad.
We only lost power for a few hours, while it seems most of the city is still without. We saw on the news we were having 25 - 30 mph winds with gusts around 60 mph. No wonder the leaves, small pebbles and especially straw hurt when it hit my legs and face!
Back to those 10 miles... Thanks to Hurricane Ike, they weren't pretty. However, I feel like I am more prepared for 13.1. It was certainly good conditioning - mental and physical. In Akron at the end of September it should be cooler. And there hopefully won't be a hurricane aftermath to fight on race morning!