Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sticky Wet Snow

It's 9:25 in the morning, my phone alarm has been going off for 25 minutes already and can be found muffled by one or two of my pillows on my bed. I normally am not this tired in the morning, however, forgetting to turn off the heat in my room, I was baking at 3 in the morning leading to a semi disturbed sleep. 

Finally rolling out of bed, I sit on the edge, dehydrated, debating with myself whether to go to practice or simply fall back to sleep. No, I had to go, otherwise I would waste away the day. My feet hit the ground, I feel the soreness from my massage in my right quad from last night. This thought doesn't linger long though, once I'm committed to going, I need to be quick otherwise I won't catch the bus. Rushing to get some food; a bowl of cereal and glass of juice later and I'm ready to go just in time for the 9:40 bus. Good thing I was rushed and hadn't looked outside, had I seen the weather that awaited me I surely would have rolled over and stayed in bed. 

Large white wet snowflakes falling down, just enough wind to give them a slight angle so that they can sneak under my hood. Do I have time to get my umbrella? Can't risk it, bus should be here any minute. 

Running around my house to the front yard I look up the street and the 25 is turning onto Dunbar from King Edward. Getting my umbrella would have cost me this bus. I quickly cross the road muttering, "what am I doing going out in this.". 

I get to UBC a few minutes before practice, just enough time to run into the locker room and get changed. Doing so I run into a few teammates and we all mutter about the weather. How if its snowing in Vancouver, how come we aren't in Whistler taking advantage of it. 

Quickly I get changed and prepare to head outside. As I approach the door, my hand reaches the bar to release the lock and I hesitate to push, do I really want to go outside in 0*C weather to get wet and cold? I'm still sheltered by the indoors, I can still turn back. 

No! No turning back, I open the door and the cold wind and snow hit me immediately, however, now I'm dressed for training, no longer wearing my big winter coat and long pants. I notice goose-bumps immediately appearing on my arms and legs. As I do the short dash to catch up to the others, I see Ivan our coach is back from his winter vacation down south, this weather must be a shock to his system, its going to be a long hour for him. As I approach my teammates, my toes are already going numb from having to step through puddles, the sleep that was in my eyes not 30 minutes ago is surely gone my now, scared away by the fowl wind.

As I am running out the door taking long strides to try and maximize my efficiency there is just one thing going through my mind.

"Why am running through the snow barefoot only wearing a speedo?"

The perk of swimming outdoors all winter long is you don't linger on deck before a workout starts, once you're present, you're in the water. Diving in, my red toes shriek with the shock of the sudden change in temperature, and with that, I'm on my way to a solid sunday morning swim workout. 

During the swim, while doing social kick sets, we take turns pausing the conversation to dip our heads underwater to melt the snow that is sticking to our hair. I couldn't help but glance to the side every once in a while and witness pedestrians walking by the pool and pausing as they watched the crazy swimmers outside in the snow while our coach stands on deck dressed for winter. I can't help but think what we must look like. 

But I guess thats what it means to be a Canadian training for triathlons in February.


MJ said...

I didn't know they kept the outdoor pool open in winter... pretty hardcore! Is that photo from yesterday morning at UBC?

Don't you find the satisfaction of a good workout 2 or 3x as powerful if the weather is terrible?

Vincent said...

actually that unfortunately was a photo I found online, however, the conditions were exactly the same.

The outdoor pool is closed to the public during the winter, however, for clubs and teams you can still rent it out.

I think it opens up again to free swim in about a month and a half.

And I would have to go with 3 times, unless its one of those brutal bike rides in which case your cold for hours after, that would be a -1X

MJ said...

Agreed. To get any satisfaction at all you do have to be able to perform.

Ulyana said...

This is so insane! Makes me laugh of this one time when the heater broke at this one swimming pool I go to when I am in Austin, TX. The water temperature was about 60 degrees, and no one, NO ONE, would go swim. I had the whole swimming pool to myself when I'd go swimming and did not feel rushed at all.

royal said...

cool i mean cold ... i was once a fitness junkie ,loved challenging the body. now i do other things :-)
would like to get my self a good road bike though.. ..lovely roads here for riding very scenic here in the caribbean