This morning was my first long run in three weeks. I took two weeks off to fight a sinus/respiratory cold. I was excited to get out and run long again, but was nervous that my lungs wouldn’t be strong enough. I’m also a little nervous about my level of fitness for a half marathon in two weeks, another half marathon three weeks later, and a marathon three weeks after that. I cautiously decided on a flat 10 miler on the river trail.
No sooner did I step on the trail, then I felt a big gust of Santa Ana winds. Where did that come from, and why did I choose to run along a wind tunnel? After a few minutes of watching a coyote run along the other bank of the river, I settled into an easy pace and pushed forward. My mind wandered and I thought of those top 5 and top 10 advice lists that running coaches and magazine writers love to give. One of their favorites is to start your run headed into the wind so that you have the wind at your back when you’re tired. Whew, good thing I’m headed into the wind, I thought. And I started counting down the miles to the turnaround point.
Funny thing is, when I turned my back on the wind, it seemed to get a lot warmer. I don’t say this as a complaint (as I enjoyed the warmth of the sunshine on my back) but more as a reminder that when I turn away from the wind that slows me down, I also turn away from the cooling breeze on my face. Even though I was tired, and now getting warmer, that tailwind pushed me along at a good clip. I had to make a conscious effort to keep my pace as slow as it should be for a training run.
I finished that run feeling strong and energized, and even a little less nervous about my upcoming events. But, I’ve got my fingers crossed that the Santa Ana winds aren’t blowing on race day.