One of the best runs ever, I mean ever. And that’s over many years. Best runs for me isn’t necessarily about time and performance but often about overcoming a serious challenge – usually weather related. One of my most memorable runs was in Boston, around ’91 or ’92, along a violently windy Charles, at the onset of a hurricane, forget the name of it, the choice to run bordering on foolishness, but the exhilarating experience forever etched in my mind.
Today wasn’t as dangerous or foolhardy, but nearly exhilarating. After being snowed in by a sudden lake effect snow storm yesterday and annoyed, was determined to get out today and get in a double digit run that had been the goal yesterday. Would you believe it, another snow squall hit the city as I was preparing to run. Along with the freeze and the 30+ wind gusts, the snow made it a trifecta. But I was determined. I was going to get a long run in if it was going to kill me.
Started off south on Delaware Ave, a long gateway lined with former mansions turned office building, towards downtown Buffalo. The wind/snow gusts were in my face for the first 4 miles, visibility about 10 yards ahead. Luckily I knew this ground well so I could nearly run it with my eyes closed, which was what it was like. Those 4 miles were intense, a few cars and mostly snow plows and police cars patrolling the roads. Randy Newman’s ‘I love LA’ was still playing in my head and the run became oddly serene during this violent weather episode. Made it down to the waterfront where the newly built public outdoor rinks were empty. Being swept around by the freshly brisk gusts off of Lake Erie, it was like being on top of a tall peak during a storm.
Turned around and was rewarded the next 8 miles back north on Delaware Ave, as the wind was with me the rest of the way, even pushing me to pick up the tempo through the snow packed sidewalk. Pushed on to the wind tunnel called Delaware Park, where the sun peeked through for a few minutes, until the violent wind gusts came back as I exited the park and ran the 4 miles back home to finish at 16 miles. By now I was ‘back in civilization’ in my neighborhood and relaxed. Exhilaration and relief all at once, back inside, having gone through a blizzard, a hurricane in Boston, the top of a mountain, and a sea storm, all in one afternoon.