Friday, February 21, 2014

A Runner’s Enemy

This picture epitomizes something runners HATE.

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No, runners do not hate the American flag. Please. We hate what makes the flag move: the WIND (I am not talking about “breaking wind.” Runners love that and do it constantly). This picture was taken from my back deck today before I went on my 10K run (30 mph mind you).

If you live in Colorado you know that we have been hit with numerous days of extreme wind this week. The winds in Colorado are not pussy soft breezes. The winds in Colorado are demonic unleashed monsters that blow over semi trucks and take shingles off of roofs. They have even been known to blow over almost-47-year-old-runners such as myself.

As with all of my training, when I hit adversity, I try to look at it as an opportunity to make me stronger. Damn, don’t we get sick of hearing that.

Hills = opportunity to do resistance training and to build my aerobic base.
Unintended sharts = opportunity to work on my pre-run nutrition and try my new detergent.
Heat = opportunity to prepare for, well, HEAT and to practice hydration.
Snow = opportunity to use different muscles to stabilize myself.

You get the picture.

That said, what does the wind give us? Why should we like it and actually consider it our frenemy? (<I hate that word, but it kind of worked in this case). I thought a lot about this on my run today as I tried to have a good attitude about the elements.

1. Running into the wind is actually resistance training, a technique used by coaches to help make runners stronger (kind of like weight resistance at the gym). Some say that running into 20 mph winds actually takes 20% more effort. Just think, you could spend $25 on a parachute or you could run in the wind for FREE!

2. If you are like me, you have spitting issues. It always ends up on my shoulder or arm. When you spit sideways while running into the wind, it flies away at 20 mph. No mess!

3. If you run in the windy conditions, this will help prepare you for the fact that it could be windy on race day. You are preparing for all conditions. You are smart and ready!

4. If you run into the wind, chances are at some point you are going to have the wind at your back.  This is a delightful sensation which involves feeling as if Don Draper or Ryan Gosling has their hand on the small of your back and is gently pushing you along.  (Although studies show you only get back about half of what you put into a headwind when you turn around and run with it at your back).

5. Farts don’t hang around.  Even SBDs.

6. When it is really windy, you are usually the only one stupid enough to be out there, so you have the whole path/shoulder/street/trail to yourself.

7. If it’s a hot day the wind might cool you off (yet, if it’s a freezing cold day you might die of hyperthermia).

8. You can give yourself permission to run slower. Check out this very interesting fact:

image

The moral of the story is you don’t have to like the wind. You just have to tolerate it. With anything, your attitude will be infinitely better if you look at the positives of the situation, rather than focus on the negatives.

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What do you think is worse to run in – wind, heat, snow or rain? I say WIND if it’s over 20 mph or so. The only element I don’t run in is ice.

What are you doing on my birthday tomorrow? I’m doing an 8 mile marathon pace run, getting my car washed/detailed (it’s free on your birthday!), maybe getting a pedicure and going out for amazing Mexican food and margaritas. And, having people massage my cock-six (coccyx). Just kidding. Maybe.

Speaking of – I got this gift from a friend today. I love my friends.

IMAG2684

SUAR

41 comments:

  1. I tried to run in a tropical storm once, (60mph winds), because I though I was badass. The second the wind almost blew me over the bridge into the Gulf of Mexico I cowered like a mouse in front of a cat! It was ugly. I literally got down on my hands and knees and crawled back to my car but that wasn't the worst part. The worste part was the 2 surfers on the beach laughing at me, freakin miscreants. I may or may not have stolen their sex wax which was conveniently laying on the tailgate of their jeep.

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  2. I really don't like wind, unless it is summer :)

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  3. A friend that delights in making artsy "cock" stickers is a friend worth keeping around. :)

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  4. Rest day today! Lucky me, avoided those 50 MPH winds we had here. I can take any conditions, but I hate running in the wind. I try to convince myself that it is great for training. Whatever.

    Happy early BD!!

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  5. I went to college in West Texas (and ran cross country and track). I swear that every single run we did and track workout was straight into the wind always!!! And, this isn't the pleasant breeze kind of wind - it is the gusting, knock you off your feet wind!

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  6. Wind is by far the worst to run in. Happy birthday! You should definitely have a margarita for tomorrow, it's National Margarita Day (seriously)!!!

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  7. I am not kidding, don't wait as long as I did to see a PT that specializes in internal adjustment of the coccyx.... It has changed my LIFE. I was in pain for almost a year, two visits and I am as good as new!!! Take care and good luck!

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  8. Happy Birthday! I recently ran in a strong wind and sideways rain storm. It was less than fun and my already slow running pace of 11/min mile bumped up to 12:30/min. My dog and I ran about 3.5 miles that day and were both ready to be done when it was over.

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    1. Oh and btw, we also ran in a recent snow storm. I think we'd both prefer that to the wind. However, my least favorite weather to run is is when its very warm. I seem to have far less energy in the heat. I can tolerate the cold MUCH better.

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  9. I agree. I don't run when it's icy. (Hence the 1,989,989 times I've been on a treadmill since December.) Rain would be my least favorite condition to run in.
    Tomorrow, on your birthday, I'm going to run an easy 10 on the mill at 4:30am then work an extra long day. We finally got water back after being without it since Sunday. All due to the water line in the city street being frozen. Nice. Real nice when you own a salon.
    Have a wonderful birthday!!!

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  10. I used to live in Boulder - I HATE WIND!!!! I seriously cannot stand it - I'd rather not run than run in the wind. Ugh. I'm clearly very emotional about this! I don't mind cold or rain (preferably not together). Heat and humidity is rough.

    I'm running a race on your birthday tomorrow! Happy birthday!

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  11. I remember being out on a run one day and screaming at the wind because I was so mad. It was making it SO much harder! I told my husband if anyone saw me they must have thought I was a crazy person yelling at nothing. :)

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  12. Love the candy - that is hilarious! When it's super windy, all I can do is laugh because sometimes I feel like I'm barely moving. I will take wind over extreme heat any day!
    Happy Birthday!!!

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  13. I'm running 6 miles for your birthday!
    I'm a Florida girl so I don't run if it's less than 40. Cold makes me feel like I'm dying.

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  15. What an awesome gift, happy birthday to you!! For me the worst is ice, it has been brutal this winter in CT and I am simply terrified of falling. I took a trip to Va to see my son for your birthday weekend, running a half marathon here in Williamsburg tomorrow - it is a fundraiser for his track team so he'd better be out there volunteering with the right mix of fluids and gels for me tomorrow - they say it will be 70 so I am worried about overheating LOL!

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  16. Ha! That resistance training picture causes me stress. And I, too, share spitting struggles. But the fact that it might be any kind of weather on race day is a good enough reason to get out there no matter what.

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  17. I don't run in HORRIBLE wind because I am scared of tree branches, etc. If it is not cold out, I'll do wind that is not dangerous. But when it is FREEZING, wind makes it below zero degrees... which makes it dangerously cold in my opinion. I thought I was a badass runner who would run no matter the temperature, but this PA winter beat me. We had several mornings where it was -20 degrees. Running in that is just STUPID. Oddly, it also gets really hot in humid in PA, so I have to run in the scorching temps too- which I prefer! I love a hot, sweaty run!

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  18. Agreed on the wind sucking. I was in castle rock last weekend to help with a jeep build and ran both days - super sucky wind running. Seems like the headwind always comes from three of the four directions. Not cool.

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  19. Happy birthday. I haven't ran outside since September 2013, loving my treadmill, NOT!!! I breathe in and out thorough my mouth while running and I HATE the coldness in the lungs feeling.

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  20. Happy birthday!

    I hate running in the wind, but that is really the only weather condition I have to deal with in So Cal. I've run in 30+ mph winds, dodging branches and debris and telling myself how hard core I am. I have learned routes in my neighborhood that take advantage of tailwinds at the end of the run when I'm tired of fighting headwinds.

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  21. The wind is the only mal weather that keeps me from running. It's never too cold in Colorado to run, unless it's windy. And the wind upsets my allergies. So it's not worth it.

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  22. Definitely wind, hands down!

    And happy birthday!

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  23. A couple of weeks back we had a head wind gusting to 70mph for around 10 miles on the South Devon Coastal Trail Marathon here in England... With added hail for good measure; it felt like being shot blasted! I have to say it was fun trying to keep balance and move forwards at the same time, but hey its what we love about running in the great outdoors and dealing with mother nature at her most feisty... And feel sorry for those behind you in a headwind every time you fart :)

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  24. Happy Birthday!! Hope you have an awesome day.

    Heat & wind. I did a 6 mile run 30 degrees celsius (86 fahrenheit) hottest our summer has been and i think the humidity must have been high too. It felt worse than doing 13 mile races!!

    Today i'm heading out for 13 miles, grocery shopping and taking the kids out to ride on little steam trains :)

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  25. I honestly think this is why I did better than I thought I would in my first half marathon. I trained in WICKED WIND (because I refused to join the gym to use the treadmill). Our neighborhood is at the top of a bluff and MAN, THE WIND. Once, it blew my foot to the side mid-stride. SO WINDY. I just count those crazy windy days as extra training and hope for a calm race day! ;)

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  26. HAPPY BIRTHDAY BETH!!!!!!!! Today is national margarita day, so take part & enjoy. My family & I will be celebrating my hubby's birthday tomorrow!!!!!

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  27. I am so done with this wind this week. I attempted an 8 mile tempo run on Thursday and gave it up after 6 as I just kept getting slower and slower each mile back into the wind. First time in a long time when I've just given up due to weather conditions.
    Hope you have a great birthday!

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  28. I have a foot injury from running a half marathon in 50mph wind gusts, so yes, I would definitely say that wind is the absolute worst weather element to run in. I don't mind getting soaked with rain or trudging through snow or even gingerly tiptoeing my way across ice, but wind? No. No way.

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  29. I tried running with my dogs at Eagle Trail and I pretty much ran in place for 4 miles...the crazy thing was my dogs had no difficulties whatsoever. Next time, I am getting on all fours and crawling :) Hope you have a wonderful birthday!

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    1. Hahah! That sounds like a good plan! Just wondering, do you let your dogs off leash at Eagle? I have before, but not sure if it is okay.

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    2. Yea, it's fine as long as you have that special green sight and sound tag for your dog. You know, the one that let's the rangers know they are perfectly behaved and listen to your every command while the prairie dogs stand on their holes and instigate them haha!

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  30. I prefer rain over wind! But I prefer running in the wind over riding a bike in a stiff wind.
    During a windy run I practice chirunning: letting myself lean into the wind, without the risk of falling.

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  31. Am I the only one that calls them SBVs (Silent But Violent)??

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    1. Haha!! I know I've had millions of SPVs in my life.

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  32. For your birthday, I will be running hill repeats! Your welcome:)

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  33. Heat is my least favorite, by far! Even living in Phoenix for 13 years didn't cure that. Glad to be home where 80 is considered a heat wave. At least when it is cold, you can bundle up. Oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY! :-)

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  34. I can't decide which is worse....Don't like extreme heat, really don't like wind, rain and normal cold are ok. Right now I think the cold/snow/ice combo is my nemesis (because the ice is 4 inches thick and bumpy on all our roads right now, and it is almost March but we still can't make it above zero even during the middle of the freaking day with the sun shining full blast- I mean seriously, it is the end of February and it is -28 degrees (F) right now. Uff I'm so over this stupid winter!!!!!!) On a happier note- I get to run a half marathon INDOORS this weekend!! Yep, 52 laps inside our big dome with music pumping and a couple hundred other sick-to-death-of-winter runners!! Exciting stuff :-)

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  35. Def running in the heat is the worse.

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