This weekend's long run was epic. Not epic as in a fabulous adventure in a pair of running shoes along an amazing route.
No. Epic as in an epic failure.
I had 10 miles on the plan for Saturday. I was at my parents' house, so my original plan was to head out to High Cliff and back. When I woke up Saturday morning it was raining. So I ran some errands with my Mom, headed over to the The Rugrats and when we got back home it was sunny and had warmed up a bit. Perfect.
Except the wind had also picked up. And not just a light breeze. Nope. Steady 30 mile per hour winds. I'm talking about winds so strong when you looked at flag poles, it looked like the flags were going to be blown off the pole.
But even with the wind, I still wanted to run. So I changed my plan. I decided to start at the park entrance and make my way back to my parents' house before adding on a few miles in their neighborhood. As my Dad drove me to the park he laughed. Thought I was crazy for running in this. Told me who nasty the wind was while he was walking earlier that afternoon.
I was in denial. Said it wouldn't be that bad.
I was wrong.
He dropped me off and drove away. I started running on a park trail that went around a pond. It wasn't took bad. Then I looped out of the park and into the adjoining neighborhood. And that's when it started to get bad. As I ran down the street towards the lake, I could see the waves coming into shore. Waves with whitecaps. Usually pretty to look at. But running into that kind of wind? Not fun. But I kept going, thinking I'd be OK once I rounded the curve and wasn't heading straight into it.
I took a few moments to stretch around 1.5 miles. Up until that point it had felt like I was barely running. But I still kept thinking to myself, "It'll get better. Once I round the next corner I won't be running into the wind anymore."
I eventually rounded that corner. And for a moment I was right. It did get better. The wind wasn't so strong and it was feeling easier to run. But then I got to a field and the cross wind hit me. Almost knocked me off my feet. Not cool. So now I was running along this road, not only trying to avoid being blown over, but also trying to not get blown right into the path of an oncoming car (at least I was wearing my Road ID). Thankfully there weren't that many cars coming in and out of the subdivision.
At the 2-mile marker I paused by a mailbox. And I kid you not, I almost curled up in the roadside ditch and cried. This run was awful. So hard. So discouraging. All I wanted to do was quit. Take off my shoes and walk home.
The town hall was just up the road, so I told myself I needed to run to that parking lot. As I ran I fought back the tears. I've never had this awful of a run before. The phrase etched into my Road ID, "That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger" kept running through my head. Maybe this epic battle with the wind will help me at some point down the line. Because what if half marathon day rolls around in May and it's just as windy? The race directors aren't going to postpone the starting time just to let the wind die down. So I'll have to deal with it then. Won't I?
So I kept putting one foot in front of the other until I got to the town hall. But honestly? At that point I was super discouraged. This was the hardest 3-miles I'd run in a long time. And I admit, I pulled my cell phone out of my pocket.
"I'm at the town hall. I give up. Will you come get me?"
Yes folks. I called my Mom. Threw in the towel. Quit.
I didn't just sit on the bleachers and wait for her. I kept running and managed to log another 1.2 miles before Mom's car appeared. So I covered 4.2 miles of my planned 10 mile run. And I felt like I had just run a marathon. Not kidding.
I was discouraged. I didn't want to skip out on my long run this weekend, especially since I might not be able to fit one in next weekend. And sometime during the 10-minute car ride back to my parents' house, I made a decision. I was going to finish the last 5.8 miles. No I wasn't going to venture back outside into the wind. Nope. I was heading to the basement to their treadmill.
Talk about a painful run. First the wind, then 6 miles on the treadmill. Especially considering it was perfect running weather outside if you took away the wind.
So it wasn't pretty and it certainly didn't feel good. But the 10 miles are done.