Every time I run, especially in the winter, I consider which way the wind is blowing. When it is cold out, I try to run into the wind first, with the hopes of having it at my back once I start sweating. This is to keep me from freezing to death. Today was warmer; so, I thought I would start uphill with wind in my face/side hoping to end downhill, wind at my back/side. With winds at 15-20 mph and gusts up to 30, I was not enjoying the first mile and a half primarily uphill (about 200 feet of elevation gain). My pace slowed as I fought for ground. During that portion I crossed three streets, which meant coming to a complete stop when cars didn’t stop. I just love the drivers who let the runners keep going. Clearly they understand what it’s like to have to stop during a run. As I’m making this trek uphill, a runner passes me going the other direction, points at me and says, “great job!” Encouraged, I only had a half mile to go before I would turn around, I could make it another half mile. The last tenth of a mile before my turn, the wind died down a bit, or so I thought.
When that turn around came, I was excited. I figured I could now make up some of the time I’d lost. What I thought was a cease in the wind was actually a shift in directions. Suddenly, the wind was full in my face, coming from the south with fury. My heart sank. Not only would I not be making up any ground, I might actually lose some more. I have clocked myself running in wind and without, there is about 1 minute per mile difference for me. I was supposed to do four miles today, but fighting with the wind was too much. I wanted to quit at two miles, and then again at two and a half. Then, biker passes me again going the other direction and says, “you’re making great progress.” So, I decide that I can at least make it to the three mile mark. Which is what I did. The moment I stopped to walk I had shooting pain in my left knee. I walked back to the house choking down the urge to vomit. I started drying heaving when I got inside.
Currently I’m sitting on the sofa with an ice pack on my knee. The husband says icing is helping his knee (he ran over ten miles today). The Boy made me a green smoothie. I’m feeling the nausea leave and my energy return. Now that I’ve had some time to reflect on the run, I’m still sad that I didn’t complete the fourth mile and that my time was slower. On the other hand, the wind made me work harder, which will eventually make me stronger. I also got some sun exposure (hello Vitamin D), some cardio work, and a decent calorie burn. So, may the wind be with you… but when it isn’t, know that it’s making you stronger.