Holy Moly. This morning’s run can be summed up in one word: WINDY.
I’ve ran in wind before. It’s pretty normal for the coast to have some wind. But this was crazy! And the worst part was, I was doing tempo intervals.
The workout was 10 min warm-up with 4 x 10 minute tempo (@7:33-7:43 pace) with 2 minutes recovery between, then cool-down til I hit 60 minutes total. When we woke up (Mike was up to do P90X Plyo), Mike said it was really windy outside and that maybe I should go back to bed and run after work, or go to the gym and do the treadmill. I thought about it but I had gone to bed early the night before so I was feeling good after 9 hours sleep. The gym isn’t close and I also wanted my Garmin data to send to my new coach (yes I am a geek like that), so I decided to brave the weather and do it anyway.
I should have checked the weather forecast before I left. Winds at 10 mph with 20 mph gusts aren’t fun to run in, but honestly I have no real basis for comparison since I hardly ever pay attention to the wind, so I may have run anyway.
As usual, I took the warm-up slow. The wind was definitely a factor but it didn’t seem THAT bad. During the first tempo interval I felt alright. I could feel the wind coming off shore but it wasn’t until the 2nd tempo interval where I hit the totally exposed beach did I really feel the wind. It was pushing me so hard that I was having a hard time running in a straight line. However, my pace was still pretty good so I thought I was winning. I finished out the 2nd interval at 32 minutes and then turned around, thinking I could make it back home in 28 minutes at the rate I was going.
I was wrong. It felt like I was running through water or straight up Torrey Pines hill. And this was just the recovery segment. No wonder I’d only seen one other runner this morning instead of the usual 10-20. I was now in the neighborhood in Solana Beach so the wind was partially blocked and I knew it was only going to get worse once I got back into the long stretch of coast that is totally exposed. I started my 3rd tempo interval, which luckily had a short downhill portion, and knew immediately it was going to be a long road back home. The resistance against my body was like nothing I’d ever felt. Apparently that cross wind I was feeling on the way out was also a tailwind and now I was facing the nastiest headwind I’d ever encountered.
I tried to stay positive, but 10 minute tempo intervals are long. A lot can happen during that time. Looking down at my watch and knowing I was going all out and seeing high 8/low 9 min/miles at times was not easy. I told myself that this was a great exercise in mental toughness. I kept reminding myself that it didn’t matter what my pace was – it was about the effort. I pushed hard into the wind and tried not to let it get me down. At times I couldn’t keep up the positive talk. I got discouraged and probably let my effort wane a bit, letting the wind win.
I thought about my coach looking at the numbers and shaking his head. It made me realize that just knowing that someone is going to look at my workout afterward makes me work harder but also puts a bit more pressure on each workout. If I didn’t have a coach, I might have not been so pissed off about the wind affecting my speed. I might have just been ok with the fact that the intervals were slower because of tough conditions. I think that extra pressure will make me faster and stronger – I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. It’s just the truth.
Lesson learned – if the wind is howling, head to the treadmill. Or, if you want a great test of mental toughness, go out there anyway. At least if it’s windy on race day I can always pull out this memory and remind myself that I can do it!
Have you ever had a crazy windy run (or worse – race!) like this? Do you tend to head to the treadmill when the weather is crazy or do you go out and brave it?