For two seasons now, I’ve been a runner with the Sun Microsystems corporate track team. I’m the youngest person on the team and all my team members blow doors off of me. They’re all at least 30, look 10 years younger than that and most have quadriceps no mere mortal should own.
Our first meet was two weekends ago. Our February weather had been surprisingly mild, at least until the Saturday of the race. When I woke up that morning I saw blue sky, which was encouraging. Unfortunately, by the time I got to the Saratoga High School track the clouds overhead threatened to pour forth great sheets of rain on our Nike-capped heads.
“Certainly the rain will wait until my first race is over,” I thought.
My boyfriend arrived shortly before my race and watched me stretch and run to the women’s restroom about 40 times. My race was called, and as the first runner for the team I took my space in lane 3. The minute I got into position it started to rain. Torrentially.
People who don’t wear glasses don’t realize what a hassle it is to be outside when it’s raining. The spots get on your lenses and makes it virtually impossible to see. It’s also difficult to do anything about it when you’re booking around the track in an attempt to finish your 440 leg before your glasses completely fog over, clouding your vision to the point that you can barely see the teammate to whom you’re to pass the baton (without dropping it, thank you very much).
To make matters worse, three of our four runners for that relay wore glasses. Despite that obstacle, we placed fourth in the race.
After excusing my boyfriend from the rainy spectacle, I sought refuge with my teammates in the equipment shed. One guy had a weather thermometer on his watch, and we took perverse glee in watching the register fall from 55 degrees to 43 degrees within a half-hour period.
You Minnesotans are probably laughing your a**es off at the above statement, but I’m a California girl and 43 degrees is COLD!
Our coach came by the shed. “Larry,” we pleaded, “tell Brian to call the meet!”
He grinned. “The only way that Brian is going to call this meet is if hailstones start coming down and knocking racers unconscious.”
The hail began 10 minutes later, but since it was only the size of lima beans the meet continued.
It actually warmed up in time for the women’s relay, my second and final race of the day. I was the first runner again and my 440 lap felt much better than the first one had (considering I’d just gotten over bronchitis two weeks before, I was pleased that I could run at all!). The other women in my team kicked butt and we came in third for that race!
Sun took fourth place in the meet overall, and we celebrated with pizza and beer in a nice, warm pizzeria. Runners are great fun to party with!