Monday, June 9, 2008

"The Wind Doesn't Blow. It Sucks!"

I saw the adage above on a fellow cyclist’s t-shirt the summer I was 14 while biking across Iowa (take heart middle school teachers—some things that enter the adolescent brain appear to lodge there permanently). 28 years later, I have had cause to recall it any number of times while training for this marathon. It occurred to me today when I turned the third corner of my rectangular route, expecting relief after running into the wind for the first two legs, only to find myself fighting a headwind again. The homestretch also featured a headwind. How does it do that?

Earlier this spring I almost wrote another entry with this title, and I was going to claim that nothing was as likely to stop me as a stiff headwind. Especially if it’s on a particularly long stretch, and even more so if that long stretch is uphill. In fact, I’m not sure that’s true. I may have been as disheartened at times over the years by hills as I have been by headwinds, though I think I have had more successes on hills than I have heading into the wind.

Well, as I predicted last week, the last few days have been slogs, but yesterday and today I put long uphills in the second half of my runs. Today, I put in the very hill I’m going to have to face at around 20 miles in the marathon. I plan on running it so many times before the race that I will know every landmark along the way. Even though today’s run wasn’t easy, I’m already feeling like that hill is a little more manageable.

I made it over the eight-mile mark today, only a day or two after my training schedule called for it, but I certainly didn’t find any endorphins there. I’ll have to look for them again another day.

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