Winter has finally come to San Francisco. Man, we all thought that we were going to avoid it. Especially me, since I’m leaving in a few weeks. But no, after a “winter” of wall-to-wall sunny days, the weather is trying to make up for lost time and squeeze in a last minute winter.
It started raining on Tuesday.
It’s supposed to rain for like, two weeks.
“Seasons” are not the same in San Francisco as they are most other places. Here’s a little translation guide:
So, as you can see, the weather here brings the term “mild” to a whole new level. Day in and day out, it’s going to be 55* and a little foggy when you leave the house to go to work. I wear the same coat year-round! This was extremely unsettling to me at first. It may surprise you how much you subconsciously mark the passage of time by changes in the weather. I learned very quickly that I had to automate all of my bill payments, because otherwise I’d forget. Not because of being irresponsible, but because I’d lose track of the month because the weather was the same EVERY DAY.
All of this mild weather has turned me into a complete baby when it gets cold (using the SF definition) or rains. I refer to this as having been “Californianized.” This can be problematic when you have a race in a month and you’ve cancelled your gym membership. When the rains (I’ve been referring to this weather as “the rains” for added dramatic effect) began on Tuesday, I was resolved to stick to my running schedule. “I can’t skip my run. I can’t can’t skip my run. If I skip for one day of rain, I’ll end up skipping the entire two weeks, and I’ll undo all of my hard work. I can’t skip my run.”
I skipped my run.
Actually, I more than skipped. I leaned into the laziness, and curled up with a really nice IPA, some mushroom pizza, and Downton Abbey. (After discovering Season 1 on Hulu this weekend, I mainlined it and ended up buying Season 2 on iTunes. Captain Crawley, I love you.) While I thoroughly enjoyed my “night off,” I knew that my original instincts were correct, and skipping one workout was the start down a very slippery slope. I had to get a grip! I used to run OUTSIDE in CHICAGO in the middle of the REAL winter. A little rain and 55* was no excuse to hide inside!
So last night, in spite of the rain, I pulled on my shoes and one of my running windbreakers and my trusty Cleveland Indians hat, and threw myself out the door for my 4-mile “time trial.” I made sure to wear synthetic socks (cotton will give you blisters when it gets wet!), go a little slower to avoid puddles and metal utility covers as best I could, and keep even more of an eye than normal on California drivers who forget how to drive when it’s wet. Was I fast? No. But I was only a few seconds slower than my splits from the week prior. Was I comfortable? Not really, but it could have been worse. But am I glad I did it? Absolutely. And this morning I woke up early and did my run in the pouring rain before I could even think about it.
So, I think I’ve started the process of de-Californianization. Which is a good thing, because I’m predicting a snowstorm in Boston on my first day there.