This picture epitomizes something runners HATE.
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:
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.
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.