So, this is the first winter in 17 years that I haven't spent in Billings in southcentral Montana. Yeah we get a bit more snow and we're right in the mountains. The Clark Fork river is almost out my front door and we've gone from a city of 100,000 to a town of about 1,200.
But, the biggest change that I've noticed is the lack of wind. One of the constants in Billings in the winter (and spring, and summer, and fall) is the wind. Morning, noon and night - the wind is always present. And not just a mild little breeze. It seemed like the baseline was about 15 mph. And, this time of year, it meant that there was always the wind chill to deal with.
I can remember running every Sunday morning with Alan King, Sam Hartpence and Jarred Rensvold last winter. And, when we were deciding on routes, it wasn't based on the most attractive route, the one that best suited our training and/or racing goals, or to explore somewhere new. No, the routes were based on one plain and simple concept - where do we run to minimize the time into the wind.
Now that I'm back in the mountains and out of the plains, it's a whole new ballgame. Most days the wind is just simply not a factor. And, man I'm loving it. It even makes it pleasent to train on those cold winter days. It's just so nice to not have to deal with the wind every single day.
So, here's to now living in a no breeze zone.
See you on the roads, tracks and trails.