Great Runs: Chicago in October “Tale of Two (Windy) Cities”

It’s getting cold in Chicagoland.

I really look forward to any chance I get to run in Chicago.  I love lakeshore drive – the awesome scenery, beachfront, and crowds of people out running biking playing volleyball whatever  – it’s tough not to get caught up in everything and feel like you’re part of this great, big, friendly, Midwest city. This week I came to Chicago for a few days so I packed some gear and squeezed a few runs into the schedule.

Wednesday afternoon was glorious.  Nice and cool, a few clouds.  Wednesdays are my recovery runs so I just put my body into cruise mode, smiled, headed north to Lincoln Park and just enjoyed being out in the city.  One of those days when you feel like you could run forever.

img_0221Thursday couldn’t have been more different.  Chicago weather just turned…angry.  It was getting dark and cold when I left the hotel.  I only brought shorts and a t-shirt, but figured I’d warm up quickly.  Every step I took along Ohio getting closer to Lakeshore, I could feel the wind gusting and the combination of darkness, cold and wind felt like ominous foreshadowing to a tough run.  Anxious, I pressed on.

Did someone slap a parachute harness on me?

When I came out of the pedestrian tunnel and saw Lake Michigan I nearly got knocked down by the 20mph headwinds.  There were huge, cresting waves crashing over the running path, forcing any few, brave runners to scurry up to the highest points.  I

Lake waves cresting the run path

was getting wet from spray and blasted by beach sand.  Did someone slap a parachute harness on me? I tried to stay positive but it was a struggle to a) stay warm and b) keep my HR low.  The Windy City is real, gang.

The good news is that on an “out and back” a big ol’ headwind turns into a big ol’ tailwind. And Immediately after I turned around it was as if Chicagos weather gods just flipped off the wind and noise machine.   It was such a nice change of conditions that I even stopped to take a few pics on the way back.

Today’s training plan:

  • Keep HR low, increase cadence, be mindful

How’d I do (1-5)?

  • Best a 3. I was all over the place.

Note 1: later, at Eataly, I watched the Cubs winning game 5 of the NLCS. With pulpo, natch.

Note 2: on Wed I ran by the Velvet Taco outpost on Rush street.  So happy to see an awesome taco place expanding.  When in Dallas or Chicago please stop whatever you are doing and go eat their delicious tacos.