It’s called wind. Besides the stretchy bands, it’s the closest I come to resistance training when running. And did I mention that it sucks?
It’s one thing to go into a session of planned resistance training…know what you are up against…prepare some scowls and grimaces in advance. It’s entirely different to start out on a nice, wind-free run with butterflies swirling about you and birds chirping their applause as you bounce freely down the sidewalk. And then take a casual little left hand turn and BAM! a wall of wind filling up your cheeks and flipping your hair back like a 1950’s greaser.
Spring is always a windy season around these parts so you kind of expect it. What you don’t expect is for the American flag – the very symbol of our freedom and patriotism – to be a bold-faced liar. I check the wind level against the flags on the nearby school flag poles when I run. If I can’t trust the American flag to tell me the truth, what can I trust? Maybe George Washington didn’t chop down the cherry tree? Maybe Bill Clinton did have sexual relations with that woman?
Case in point, yesterday I took off on my lunch hour for my intervals at the high school track. Technically, I was “in a meeting” according to my public calendar. The meeting was at the track with Mr. Puke Threshold. I head out the door and past my filly’s elementary school. It’s breezy and a pleasant 60 degrees. Blue skies, butterflies, birds, the entire enchilada described above. The school flag is lying as limp as a boy scout leader at a…er, never mind.
I hit the track for 3 x 800 with a bonus 400m finish. It’s nearing taper and I have a 21 miler scheduled for tomorrow so I’m not going to push the interval count. Just trying to keep the legs fresh and primed for the upcoming 5k training after this marathon wraps up in a few weeks. After a nearly two mile warm-up, I arrive at the track and start the first 400 meters. 100m…200m…nice and easy…
BAM! Turn the third corner and smash of wind hammers me in the face. I was looking for Lee Harvey in the press box the way I suddenly went back and to the left….back and to the left…
Dig in. Embrace it. When it comes to running, this is my resistance training. As much as it sucks, the only way to go is to embrace it as a beneficial work-out. Rounding the first corner, the wind relieves again. The liar flag is still hanging limp. Maybe it’s one of those fake flags but, unlike the moon landing flags, this one is frozen flaccid.
Back into turn three and BAM! another sudden gust about knocks me back. I feel like I’m running with one of those cute little midget parachutes on my back. Lower the shoulder and charge like Teddy Roosevelt up San Juan hill. Hang on, it’s going to be a rough ride.
By the time it’s done, I’m cursing at the wind with a steady stream of m-f’ers. The liar flag got a few choice words too. I clapped my hands together and took out two butterflies. And don’t think I didn’t pop the bottom of the bird’s nest sending a few eggs over the side.
Resistance training and running? Yeah, it sucks. Mostly because you don’t know when it’s coming. And also because insects and animals tend to die when it happens to me.
3 x 800 @ 2:48 average pace (2:47, 2:48, 2:49). Final 400m @ 1:16.
Tomorrow 21 miles and then TAPER!
Mrs. Nitmos and I depart on a surprise birthday trip for her on Friday. She doesn’t know where she is going yet. Maybe I’ll pop up in a town near you. Keep an eye out.