The Wind Against My Wings

I’ll run in the heat, rain, cold, or snow with no very little complaining.  The one element that I despise and will avoid at all costs is the wind.  I hate it.  For me, there’s nothing as depressing as pushing yourself and feeling like you are barely moving.

I always check wind speed before a run – and especially before a long run.  If the wind is anything close to 20 mph, I always choose the treadmill. The forecast for Saturday’s long run called for chilly temps (28) with winds sustained around 17-18 mph (and gusts up to 30 mph).  It was going to feel like 15 degrees with the windchill.

If I were further along in my marathon training, I easily would have chosen the treadmill.  I’ve done distances up to 20 miles before on it.  But I felt that I wasn’t mentally prepared enough for 14 miles on the treadmill yet – I hadn’t run that distance since late spring (about 9 months) and was worried that I would wimp out and hit “stop” when I got tired the last few miles.  The only option was to run outside.

I wore capris, a long-sleeved shirt, Saucony Jacket, Athleta vest, Saucony hat, and mittens. (More info on my clothes at the bottom of the post.)

I was dressed perfectly for the weather and was warm enough for most of the run.  The vest was great – it helped protect my body against the chilly wind without causing the rest of my body (arms) to overheat.

I decided to run south for a couple of miles and then head north and double back to our home.  Last weekend I ran 6 miles north and 6 back for my 12 miler and didn’t want to do the exact same route this week.  I also knew that I would probably be lacking motivation by mile 10 so I wanted to have to run the final 5 miles home.

The first few miles were slow and comfortable.

  • Mile 1: 8:30
  • Mile 2: 8:15
  • Mile 3: 8:13

The middle 6-7  miles felt AWESOME.  I was easily maintaining just over an 8:00 min/pace and felt that I was running within myself.

  • Mile 4: 8:03
  • Mile 5: 8:03
  • Mile 6: 8:09
  • Mile 7: 8:03
  • Mile 8: 8:03
  • Mile 9: 8:06

I turned around at mile 9.10 to head home and realized I was in for a LONG 5 miles – I was running directly into ~20 mph winds.

It sucked.

The miles dragged on. I seriously looked at my garmin every .1-.2 miles wondering why it wasn’t moving faster.  I felt like I was struggling 100x more than I had been the last 6 miles and yet I running ~20 seconds slower.  I think if I had been running with my cell phone I may have called my husband to come get me.  It was THAT awful.  But I was miles from home and the only way to get home was to run.  I kept telling myself that the faster I ran, the faster it would all be over.

I had intentions of pushing the pace a bit the last few miles – but that obviously never happened.  It took every ounce of energy I had to run the last miles in 8:11.

  • Mile 10: 8:20
  • Mile 11: 8:22
  • Mile 12: 8:15
  • Mile 13: 8:24
  • Mile 14: 8:11

Total: 14:01 miles
Total Time: 1:55:05
Pace: 8:12

I know running in (and into) the wind will only make me a stronger runner. It’s resistance training.  I kept repeating that to myself during those last few miles (but it didn’t make the time go any faster).

Windburn face and lips

Do you enjoy running when it’s windy? 

What’s your cutoff for wind speed for running outside? 

What I’m wearing:

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    43 thoughts on “The Wind Against My Wings

    1. I just found your blog and have been reading it for over an hour. I LOVE the inspiration you put out there for women (mothers especially!). No matter how busy we are or pregnant it is important to focus on our health and fitness for our selves and our family. THANK YOU!

      What Harmon is pictured above? I like the way everything is outline for you. This would be my first Garmin and I would like everything to be layed out as it was in the photo, especially while I’m pregnant.

      I plan to continue to read your blogs, please keep them coming!!!! BEST OF LUCK with everything!

      • Hey Tammy! Thanks so much for your sweet comment! Glad you found me =)
        I was wearing the Garmin 610 at the time and loved it! There are a few lower models that give you the same exact information as this one. The 610 is a touchscreen and was easy to manipulate. I’ve heard great things about the 210 and 220 as well!!
        Let me know if you have any other questions!
        nycrunningmama recently posted..23 miler + Small VictoriesMy Profile

    2. Great job on your run! I cannot stand the wind either, makes it so tough to keep going…but I agree with not doing long distances on the treadmill. I like the one comment about the neck thing…may have to check that out. I live in northern MI and will start my half marathon training in a few weeks…and it’s C.O.L.D.!
      Maria recently posted..Time Off, An Egg Experiment, and a Food FindMy Profile

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    4. I needed this post today! My husband and I are getting ready to do 16 this weekend (we have never run that far – ever) and I cannot decide if the predicted wind, snow, cold, but mostly wind conditions will keep me on a treadmill. The furthest I’ve gone on a treadmill is 6 miles! Sheesh! I just don’t know if I’ll make it. Happy for you that you made a decision and stuck with it! Way to go!
      Stephanie@nowirun.com recently posted..Random Thoughts (about yesterday) and Added VeggiesMy Profile

    5. SO funny I am exactly the same. I can’t stand wind. I won’t even take the kids outside or to the park when it’s windy. We were stationed in the Mojave Desert NAS ChinaLake for 4 years. IT IS INSANE out there. I honestly do not know how those test pilots can fly in that type of wind… guess when your going mach whatever it doesn’t matter. You popped into my mind this morning, hope you’re OK . PS. I have the same GPS and Saucony hat, if feel like your twin… now if I could run at your speed!
      Lisa @ RunWiki recently posted..Surrender, Trust, BelieveMy Profile

    6. You’re so wise… I should pay more attention to the wind gusts before long runs, too. I’ve had a few miserable experiences this training cycle. But like you said, it will only make you stronger. It’s just not fun pushing through!
      And thank you for saying you can handle the rain… there is a good chance of rain for marathon day and I’ve been dreading a rainy race day… but wind is definitely worse!
      Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..Smoothie Pancakes + Greens for kidsMy Profile

    7. Good job getting out there in the wind and still clocking a good pace. My worst weather condition is definitely heat. In fact, my husband made me promise that I won’t start a race if it is over 70 because he has seen, first-hand, how dehydrated I become.

    8. I agree- wind is tough to run in, especially at the end of a long run. My worst race condition is- hands down- heat and humidity. In fact, my husband made me promise to never start a race if the temp is over 70 regress at the start time, since he has seen how dehydrated I become. Hats off to you, though, for getting out in the wind and still running a good pace into the headwind.

    9. I hate running in the wind! My long run today was in 20mph winds… Agree with you…IT SUCKED!!! I tell myself the same thing about resistance training. Way to stick it out. I only had to do 8 today, not the 14 you did!!! Way to go! :-)

      • It’s such a mental game on windy days! I start doubting myself b/c my pace is much slower than what I think it should be AND I feel exhausted. You question how you plan to run a race (much further distance too) in a faster pace. UGH!

      • I actually didn’t start checking the wind until I was deployed to Iraq – It was hit or miss with the wind. Some days was super calm – other days was so windy it would cause dust storms…it was always the first thing I checked each morning when I got up. Kind of carried through to now =)

    10. I dislike the wind but feel that it will make me a stronger runner! This time of year I like to wear a neck gaitor that I can pull up over my face when I’m running into the wind. I find the older I get the colder I get. With those temps I’m in full tights, long sleeve AND jacket! Great job on getting it done…even though you had no choice!
      Alison @ racingtales recently posted..Book Review: It Starts with FoodMy Profile

    11. oh man, I do NOT enjoy running into the wind. A little tail wind, sure. But that often means that I have to turn around and run into the wind at some point. Good for you to sticking with it. You’re right – it is resistance training and will make you stronger in the end. Plus, I think that it’s a good mental challenge that you’ve conquered.
      Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..2013: Things that will stay the sameMy Profile

      • I guess if you are doing a point-to-point race, you hope for a tailwind, right? Boston 2011 had a HUGE tailwind (which I remember the announcers saying was only the 2nd or 3rd time ever – almost every year it’s a big headwind)…which is why the times were so fast that year!!!

    12. You still had a great run battling the wind! I hateeee to run in heat/humidity. I puss out and run for the treadmill at anything higher than 80-85F. Gimme cold and wind anyday. :) My last two halfs have been in 15-20mph winds on the water – somehow now I crave the wind when running even though it makes my run so much harder!
      beka @ rebecca roams recently posted..Introducing…. #goalgetter2013!!My Profile

    13. I do not enjoy running in the wind but I’ll do it. I recently ran 5 miles with gusts up to 50mph. That was crazy especially when running uphill, I felt like I was running backwards!

      Great job!!
      Natalie recently posted..Donate & WIN!My Profile

    14. Ha, ha! I could have written this one today! I went out for yet another windy run this morning, although thankfully I went into headwind and back with tail. But seriously, it seems like the past couple of weeks have been windier than normal. I hate the wind!

      A vest is the perfect wind defense, in my mind–no overheating but still blocking it!
      misszippy1 recently posted..The best laid plansMy Profile

      • I much prefer headwind out…but often end up cutting my run short b/c it sucks. The benefit (I guess) of headwind on the way back is that there is no choice but to run the whole distance. LOL. I am actually starting to fear my choice for the marathon this year b/c I didn’t even think about wind. It’s basically an out and back course along the NJ boardwalk / coastline – so there will probably be a hefty wind for half of the run! UGH
        nycrunningmama recently posted..The Wind Against My WingsMy Profile

    15. I hate the wind. I am a morning runner, and there is nothing worst that laying in bed hearing the house shake/creak because of the wind outside.

      I have ran in the wind that feels like I am going no where. I have been almost lifted off the ground. You know because I am so little (hehehe).

      • HAHA. Makes me glad to hear that other people dread the wind just as much as I do. I thought I was being a “soft” runner b/c I opt for treadmill or change around my workouts to avoid it at all cost!! HA.

    16. 10 mph is my cut off. I’d rather run in 90 degree weather. I have to time my races so I can start training in the spring because I refuse to run on windy days and I don’t have a treadmill.

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