Monday, January 20, 2014

Doing a Rain Dance

Last year was the driest calendar year in California since they started keeping records over 150 years ago.  And we have had no real measurable rain so far this year, with none in the forecast for at least the rest of the month.  We've also had below normal rainfall for at least the past two winters.

For those of you not familiar with our quirky California weather, winter is supposed to be our rainy season.  It typically rains regularly from November through March, and then it will not rain at all during the summer.  Not.one.drop.  I thought this was odd when I first moved here, but now I think it's awesome because you can plan anything in the summer - an outdoor party, a wedding, a hike - and not have to worry about your plans getting rained out.

On Friday the governor declared a state of emergency due to the drought.  Everyone is being asked to cut their water use by 20%.  We're starting to collect gray water at my home to reuse for watering plants and flushing toilets. We turned off our lawn sprinklers back in October, and we won't be turning them back on this year.  My car is just going to be dirty more often because going to the car wash seems a little frivolous when farmers can't water their crops.

But this also is making me rethink my race plans for this year.  Many of the local reservoirs where triathlons are held are incredibly low or even empty.  I'm not sure that the Catfish open water swim event I wanted to do is even going to happen at this point.  And I wonder about the lake where the See Jane Run triathlon is held every year.

The Almaden Reservoir in San Jose just last week.
There are plenty of triathlons that are held in the ocean in my area, but I'm just not up for that.  I don't think I'm strong enough of a swimmer and I honestly can't get past my fear of sharks.  (Silly, I know, but a very real fear of mine.)  I've managed to convince myself that I won't get eaten in the bay but the ocean just seems much scarier to me.

I'm guessing many local events may be turned into duathlons but since running isn't my strong point and I really enjoy the swim leg of a tri, I'm not that interested.  I just wish there were more triathlons that were held in swimming pools!

So if you've got it in you, please send all of your rain vibes, prayers, juju, whatever you can spare towards California.  Now excuse me while I get back to doing my rain dance.

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