Trail Zealot

Colorado hiking, Appalachian Trail thru-hiking, and more...

Feb. 25, 2020, 9:28 a.m.

Main factors to consider:
- Windy day. According to the BoulderCast weather station near Broadway and Yarmouth, it was blowing from the northwest at the beginning of my run, and then swinging northeast at the end. Sustained winds in the 10-15 mph range, with gusts generally in the 25-35 mph range. The BoulderCast station is very close to the later stages of my run. Unfortunately, the NCAR Foothills Lab weather station, located near home, hasn't been reporting any wind values for the last few days, so I can't use it to corroborate my experience. The Mesa Lab up on Table Mountain was reporting consistent winds from the northwest for the entire run, but that station is in a really different place. I felt a headwind as I headed east to start my run. The wind can change from place to place.
- 20s and overcast. On a windless day, I might have run in a long sleeve and shorts, but the wind made pants and a jacket non-negotiable. I took off my jacket at Foothills and Valmont, because I was running with a tailwind and I was hot. Kept the jacket off all the way up the Boulder Creek Path, because the wind was negligible (great route choice). Finally, I chose to design a route to challenge myself, by running uphill into a headwind along 4th up to Wonderland Lake and Foothills Park. That was where things started feeling hard. I completely gave into running by feel! I knew it would be next to impossible to quantify the effort of working against a steady 10-20 mph, so I just tried not to blow my lid. I put my jacket back on at Wonderland Lake, after enduring the experience of cresting wonderland hill and getting destroyed by a headwind that made me feel like I was still going uphill. I took the jacket off near the police substation and kept it off, but I definitely sensed a bit of wind in my face still.

Man, I felt much more sore and tired than when I did a similar run last week off 2 rest days! It was hard to reach on this run overall; I was just hanging on and logging good miles. Hammies were sore and cadence was down. Started to wonder if hammies are sore because of increased speed lately, and consequently more of that butt-kicking motion. Well anyways, I wasn't trying to fight through that pain today, so maybe my form wasn't as good as it has been.
Overall, glad I went on this run, even if the weather conditions and my physical state weren't ideal. I think you get better when you don't aim to work out exclusively when fresh and in good conditions. That's vain.

For those segments running into or against the wind, I would like to adjust the intensity factors a bit. But first I want to better understand how much harder the wind makes me work.