One Windy Tempo Run

Mother nature has decided it is time to be the usual February tease and this week in Cleveland we are getting a few days with temps cracking 50 F before we'll settle back into the usual 30ish degrees this weekend. Hey I can't complain, any day I can run in shorts is a good day. Of course a shift that big in temperature is usually accompanied by some sort of bad weather. Today it was wind! I run a lot of my lunch time tempos on a street that runs parallel to the lake that is not near any buildings, it is a straight shot out and back so on a windy day you are pretty much guaranteed some suffering. Unfortunately it is usually wind traveling at your back on the way out and at your face on the way back. Making it difficult to decide on a pace initially and meaning you will have to work hard in the middle or end of the workout depending on where you start.

In an effort to relax a bit I have been ignoring the watch the past two weeks and going by effort. But as today's workout called for 7 miles at 6:25 I had to wonder what an equivalent pace would be in each direction. Using Daniel's wind formulas this nifty calculator tells you what an equivalent pace would be for different wind conditions.

Fun to look at, not sure how practical it is in a real world situation. I checked it out before the run knowing today I'd be facing 17 mph winds gusting up to 26 mph. Given last week we struggled into 12 mph, I knew today would not be an evenly paced run, but I wanted to give myself the best shot at an even effort run. The calculator put the paces into the wind at 7:25 and with the wind at 5:50. That seemed like an awful big adjustment to me, but I decided that as long as paces were between those ranges today we'd call it a success.

This week we started with the wind rather than against it. Fun fun, you feel like you are flying the first few miles, but unfortunately a little shy of 2 we know we have to turn around and go to work. I just ignored the watch after the 2nd mile and pretty much just ran hard. I cannot lie, the next 5 miles went by unbearably slow. The wind never let up, at times making it feel like we were standing in place. But other than tired quads, my legs really felt good and I was able to push myself to keep the effort high. Huge help in that I had training buddies with me the entire time today. Salty did really well the first 2 miles then did her own thing to finish out a nice 4 mile tempo. MY and I pushed on into the wind for 3 miles before rounding the stadium and finally heading back with the wind and a fast final two miles. It was definitely hard work even with the wind at our backs, but mostly because we were so tired from working into the wind. Gladly the watch finally beeped sounding the end of our 7 mile tempo and we jogged it back in super slowly into the wind.

12 miles averaging 7:06 and 7 tempo miles averaging 6:24.5. It feels good to have been able to nail that workout in these conditions. I am definitely learning that letting go of being so OCD about the watch is a good thing.


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