I knew hurricanes well enough. In my south Florida town, Andrew was a good excuse for my ex-1-week boyfriend to grab his surf board and for me to crawl up to Orlando for a few days with some friends to catch Lollapalooza (#2). Katrina hit while I was living in Boston, and we all trolled the internet for weeks for photos of her. Sandy just popped in recently, and although I'm on the left coast now, I've stalked her too.
Wind, singular, was just something that came along with other types of weather. Noreasters, rain. Winds, plural, were not something I was ever introduced to until about six years ago when I moved to Los Angeles with my then-husband. A few sunny blue sky months after we'd finished unpacking our new apartment I was nearly slammed back into the glass lobby of my company's tower by the lash of a blast of air. The next day there were arrow signs on all the front lobby doors, indicating that all entrances were closed due to the Santa Anas, and we should go around back. Nice to meet you Santa Ana.
I don't know if Santa Ana was the name of today's wind, but she was fierce and cold, the kind of wind that fills your ears and you have to turn fully around to check for cars before you cross the street. The liquid amber seed pods littered both sides of the road so that I had to run fairly close to the middle. The branches on the west side of the trees were stripped bare, even when the red and gold of autumn still clung to east side branches. The evergreens bent at impossible angles, even the one with the "thumbs up! keep going, girl!" branch that I always look to on my southbound way up Fulton.
Today, I didn't need a story or number to keep going. My ears and my thoughts were all on the wind, first pushing me along, then whipping my hat, then holding me back for the long curved block back around.
Today, I didn't have a plan. I ran 9 miles yesterday, and according to the schedule I mapped out on New Years Day, today I should have rested. But, by god, I wanted to run. I wanted to run last Monday too, on my rest day, but I held myself back and by Tuesday the mind chatter had returned. Today I just wanted to run as a dog loves to chase. I wanted to run with the wind, hear the exhales of my breath mingle with the wintery cold. Today there were only three sounds -- the wind, my breath, and the slap of my shoes -- and one thought: wind, wind, wind. I ran until I didn't want to run any more. And then I stopped.
January 13, 2013.
LA Equestrian Center and Griffith Park, Los Angeles, CA
Temperature in the low 30's.
average pace: 9:32 per mile
January 14, 2013.
Los Angeles, CA
Temperature in the 40's-50's... very windy
average pace: 9:13 per mile