Monday, March 21, 2011

Strongest wind I've ever run against

My wakeup heart rate was 55, and I left home looking forward to a great 5-mile rest-run. However, after a short distance, I knew I'd be doing well to just finish my run. There was a stiff headwind (the weather report says 12 mph with gusts up to 35 mph; my wife heard something about gusts up to 50 mph), and I knew I had to slow down to prevent me from aborting the run for tired legs and lack of energy. I've never run with such a strong headwind! I fought the wind for a mile, and then I slowed down and took longer walks. I was glad to reach the turn-around point and to have the gusts pushing me forward instead of backward. On the way back, some of the gusts were so strong that I was almost sprinting due to the wind pushing me. I tried to slow down, but the wind just kept pushing me to greater speeds.

When I started the run, I could see the bottom of the Wasatch mountains (the tops were covered by clouds), but by the time I had turned around, the storm was entering the Salt Lake valley, and the Wasatch mountains were completely covered by clouds. It rained most of the way back -- not a heavy rain but the wind blew the rain drops and made it seem like a heavy rain. The air temperature was in the low 50s (F), and I had no problem keeping warm. I wore long pants and three layers on my core. My nylon jacket does a great job stopping the wind, but as I've commented before, the jacket needs to be sprayed with silicone so it will keep the rain out.

I saw a few runners, several walkers with dogs, and two cyclists. One walker stopped me and said I was brave to be out in a storm. I commented that it was easier having a tailwind rather than a headwind. I was glad he didn't have far to go to get to his car, because he had no jacket and a short sleeved shirt. I think he was the brave one. Or was he the foolish one? Were we all foolish? Nah! It's fun to run in the wind and rain, and it makes getting home seem awfully nice....

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