This area may not have much in the way of hills. But it has its wind, and that makes up for it.

I'd been lulled into a false sense of security. I'd forgotten how ... let's say challenging, running into the wind could be. And then I went this morning. This was before the real gusts rolled in later in the day. I got just a few stiff gusts slapping me in the face during a leisurely four miles in the pre-dawn hour. But that's all it takes to remind me that if there's one thing I dislike more than hills, it's the wind.

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At least with a hill there's a finite obstacle in your path. You see the bottom, you see the top, and you grind it out. And they have the added bonus, on an out-and-back run, of promising a restful descent on the way home. Why couldn't the wind be so accommodating? Because it's evil, that's why.

Wind doesn't care how far you're going, how fast you're trying to complete it and what condition your condition is in. It'll just sneak up at the most inconvenient moments, ready to block you from getting into a rhythm.

And you think that if you run into the wind you'll have it at your back at some point. Hah! The winds around here swirl so much you'll feel you're in a wind tunnel some days.

At least you don't get the two -- hills and wind -- in combo around here. Combining hills and wind? That's just cruel... I try not to think of such things.

Yeah, you suck it up and you get the mileage in. But there are fun days and grind-it-out days. Whenever Mother Nature decides to turn her fan on, it's never one of my better days.

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