Winter has arrived in Sydney and, with it, icy cold temperatures and rain. OK, it's not snowing like it has been in old hometown Christchurch, but it does feel like those antarctic winds have come straight across the Tasman courtesy of Aotearoa.
As a result Coach Dave's suggestion that I do an easy 30 minute run on Saturday and a social 60 minute ride today (plus a swim or two) were set to be more challenging than usual. I had great plans and when a work colleague mentioned on Friday night that she was running over to our side of the city on Saturday I immediately roped her into the idea of tacking on an additional 30 minutes onto her run. She could run to our place and then we'd do a social 30 minutes back across the bridge with her.
Until Saturday morning dawned and, with it, an antarctic chill and black skies. By 7.00am St Pete and I had been unceremoniously dumped as running partners in favour of the warm and dry gym.
Undaunted, we headed out ready to enjoy the fresh air and whatever weather Mother Nature decided to throw at us.
And so I relived a favourite childhood memory - biking home from school in the rain. Kawerau, the small town in the Bay of Plenty where I grew up, is set in a valley that gives it a sub-tropical climate and tropical-style downpours. My mode of transport to school, then, was by bike and if it was raining I would always try and get mum or dad to drop me off to school in the car. Coming home, however, didn't bother me. Strange though it may sound it was always an immensely fun experience to bike home in a downpour, getting completely drenched, knowing you could then thaw out in a nice hot shower at home.
So while we ran in the wet and cold I just kept thinking of my school experiences and the nice hot shower I was going to get when I got home!
Today provided a similar experience. Again I had set up a buddy to join me for a social 60 minute ride to Manly for a coffee and was really looking forward to getting out on the bike without the pressure of a training plan. The weather forecast last night, however, was looking pretty grim and, in fact, worse than what had been predicted for Saturday morning. And on the bike I admit I am a bit more conservative when it comes to braving the Sydney traffic and slick road surface in the wet. So a joint decision was made last night to abandon and try another day.
That was all good, until this morning. I got up, looked out the windows and saw that, while it was wet outside, it wasn't raining....hmm. The rain radar was consulted while breakfast was being eaten and before you know it this irongirl was hatching a plan.
I would ride to Manly (hopefully dodging the heavy rain that was heading towards us from the west - thanks again NZ!) while St Pete travelled to Manly by ferry with a change of clothes for me. We would meet up there, I could get changed, and then we could enjoy a leisurely coffee together before taking the ferry back home.
Perfect. And, even better, St Pete thought it was a pretty good idea too!
So, off I went.
|Manly, slightly drenched...|
Within 10 seconds I was completely drenched.
And I mean drenched. It rained as it only can in Sydney - it was like riding under a waterfall, and I loved every second of it! Within seconds I was reliving my childhood memory again of riding home from school and thinking about that hot shower at the end of it all.
By the time I got to Manly it had virtually stopped raining again and within a couple of minutes St Pete had arrived and I was able to put on some dry clothes and get warm.
|St Pete brings the coffee|
Then it was time for a leisurely walk back to the ferry terminal and home for that hot shower of my childhood memories.
|The Avanti on the ferry - ready for her easy trip home.|
All up, a great way to spend a Sunday morning in the off-season and a reminder to all...don't let the bad weather put a stop to your activity. You can't control the weather and, if you're doing an event, you have to be prepared for all conditions. So you may as well practice in those conditions.
So get out there - dress accordingly and look for the positive in every experience. It will only make you better!