Thursday, October 2, 2008

Caught in the Hail...

After the half marathon last Sunday, I've been taking it relatively easy this week to try and aide in my recovery. On Monday and Tuesday my legs were still a bit sore, so I simply did a 30km (little less than 1hr) bike ride. On Wednesday things were feeling a bit better, so I did an easy 9.5km walk in addition to another 30km ride.

By this morning things were much better, so I figured that I'd do a slow recovery run this morning to gauge my progress. After about 3km my right hamstring was feeling a little tight, however, so I fell back to a walk to play it safe (doing about 8.3km in total). Once I got back and had lunch, I headed out for another ride but after about 5 minutes it started drizzling so I headed back and figured that I'd wait it out.

A few hours later, the skies cleared up so I gave the roads about 20 minutes to dry out and then set out to finish off what I started. For about 50 minutes, the weather was beautiful (Sunny 15C) but after that the skies started to get dark very quickly - with about 23km done, I figured that it was enough (I did about 5K in the morning, and I was still about 2K away from home) and started heading back. A minute or so later it started raining, so I stepped it up a bit to get home as quickly as I could.

Unfortunately I got stuck at a red light waiting to turn left and while I was standing there the rain picked up a bit. Just before the light changed, the rain turned into hail and, as there wasn't really any cover between me and home, it was simply a matter of getting back as quickly as possible. Once the light changed, however, it became evident that this was going to be a bit of a catch-22 situation - the faster I went the more the hail hurt ;) Either way, I sucked it up and ended up stabilizing at about 48km/h (which was a lot harder than I had planned to work out in a recovery week, but better than being pelted with shards of ice) and pushed home as quickly as possible. The helmet helped a lot here, as once I got down on the drops and into an aerodynamic position it deflected a good percentage of the incoming ice.

Fortunately, other than the annoyance factor it didn't seem to do any damage to me or my bike. I've been caught in the hail a few times earlier in the year while running, but getting whacked with chunks of ice at these speeds was a lot less pleasant :( Regardless, the weather this time of year is just going to get less and less predictable so I'm going to have to get used to surprises such as these! One thing I'm really going to have to look into getting some good sunglasses, however, as I was lucky not to get hit in the eyes by any of those chunks of ice.

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