Sunday, September 19, 2010

Wind delay

When it comes to running, there's little that ruffles me as much as wind. Perhaps it's because I'm a tall strider, not a squat stormer (to offer an awkward phrase). All extension, instead of middle-distance power. I'm lanky. I admit it.

In any case, wind sometimes renders me nervous, jumpy, when the day's run is still before me. And today was awfully windy, though "awfully" might not be extraordinary here in the Eastern Sierra. By ten it was a more-or-less steady 20 mph, with gusts into the 40s. So I spent quite a number of minutes over the course of day staring out various window, like a (small, toy) dog that wants to go out, but hates a stiff breeze whipping through its coat. I was supposed to do a 23 mile long run, and per my usual route, that meant 10-plus miles of running, trudging, directly into the wind. The weather forecast confirmed that it wouldn't let up.

Finally, I decided (in consultation with the Internet) to save my long effort, which I want to run a pretty good clip, for tomorrow. So, that's to come.

Tonight, however, I ventured out at the last minute and ran 9 miles. From the start, I felt solid about the decision to postpone, since I couldn't hear a thing, and my face felt like it was alternately being pummeled and massaged. Every so often, I'd take a step in which my lifted leg would fly off into the one planted, almost tripping me up. Two and half hours of that frankly would have blown.

As I sailed down old 395 toward County Park, the lake reminded me of a conveyor belt, at a baggage claim, say. Even from a distance, swells were moving fast to the east across its surface (but they hadn't really broken into all-out white caps, for some reason). The day had cleared out the haze from a distant, unknown-to-me fire that had lingered around the Basin this week. And when sun disappeared, the wind quieted a bit, making my ascent back into Mono City easier. The blooming rabbitbrush quivered bright yellow in the dusk breeze. I was glad to be out, finally.

9 mi, 63 min; Old 395-Cemetery Rd-Mono City jeep trail

Week total: 87 miles -- less than the 100 I'd anticipated, due to a delayed long run

Saturday, 9/18: 9 mi, 63 min; Aqueduct Rd and Lower Horse Meadows at twilight (then to the Tioga Gas Mart for a burger and short films, courtesy of the Telluride Film Festival)

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