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Spontaneous sprinting and other spices

December 28, 2011

My birthday run was flavored with high wind and rain.  The most notable part of the run was the sudden unintended sprints that, I must say, caused much surprise if not alarm.

A south wind brings rain.  And that held true today.  And rain means warm air.  And that held true too.  And one might think this a good thing as it is not a north wind – which, as we all know, hatches the biting ice.

But the catch.  The highway – my preferred route in times of questionable surface – travels in a northward direction out of town.  And therefore, the wind direction dictates whether I slog going out or slog going home.  For slog I will.

Now a funny thing about slog.  Even though the distance allotted is equal no matter a northern or southern gale, I have definitively concluded that the preferred direction of slog is going out.  Granted, heading stiff and tired into the teeth of an angry wind is no way to run with joy*, but the prospect of a return trip with Jack F. nipping something other than my nose makes it bearable.  A headwind is upfront, in your face.  I discern its meaning, and in most respects adapt to its brutality.  As we used to say as kids, “headwind you win, tailwind you lose”.

Why?  Because tailwinds are deceivers.  They soothe you, and make you feel spry.  You jog along with ease, warm and comfortable.  It causes a disconnect between what your mind knows and what your body feels.  And then…

Then out of nowhere, the wind grabs you by both buns and hurtles you like a rocket propelled pedestrian.  I was barely able to stay clear of passing traffic.  My eyes wide, mouth open, I am certain I looked rather silly.  It released me.  Then took hold.  The initial pleasure of the tailwind was replaced with apprehension.  This repeated itself until the turnaround and thankfully I turned, tired, spent, and shaky…

Into the wind.  Yes, instead of escape, I was thigh deep in a pool, boxing my way home.  And losing.

5 miles.  Hello 40.


*apologies to Ryan Hall


From → Running

  1. Just 40? Geez you’re a young tacker. Happy birthday Andrew. You make running sound like it can be fun .)

  2. Sure you’re only a kid Andrew. Happy Birthday! The only thing worse than running into a wind is cycling into it.

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