It’s not perfect runs that make tough runners… it’s the challenging ones.

I wrote and rewrote this post about 23 times in my head on my long run yesterday. I was going to talk about how I ran half of my target distance but how the winds made it feel like the full distance. I was then going to write that I ran three quarters of the distance at twice the effort. When I rounded the corner on the homestretch of my run, finishing off the FULL 16 miles, in the pouring rain and insane winds, I decided I would talk about the fact that toughing out a hard run was SO worth it, because THAT is what makes tough runners. 

My mom joined me for the beginning of my run. There are not a whole lot of paths of trails or even streets in Carman, MB to run so we planned on setting out down the highway and running 8 miles out and 8 miles back. I was hoping the weather forecast was incorrect and there would not in fact be 50 km/h winds with gusts of close to 70 or 80. I really hate running in the wind, even more than snow or rain. The forecast was bang on. 

We got about 3 miles out on the highway and the wind was so strong in our faces that we just couldn’t catch out breath at all and it felt like we were running backwards at some points. It was hard and it hurt, so we turned around. The wind was at our side/backs on the way back into town so it was better but somehow even when the wind is “helping” you, it makes it harder. I didn’t have to worry about running too fast on THIS long run!

When we got back into town, we had reached 6 miles and my mom stopped to walk. It was really hard to run and I don’t blame her at all for dropping off! I was just happy she stuck it out for the 6! She walked another mile and a half and then went back to our hotel. I carried on and struggled for the next couple miles. I ran around the streets of Carman because there was 0.2% less wind there. 

I saw my mom walking when I had reached 8.39 miles and I told her I was only going to do a couple more. If I got to 10 I would be happy. Half the distance but twice the effort so it would be like running 16, right? When I got to 10 I thought I could probably manage 2 more. My Garmin beeped to signal 12 miles right at our hotel but I needed a cool down so I thought I would walk another mile and cap off the half marathon distance. I walked for about 20 seconds and decided to just keep running. Long story short, I kept telling myself I would stop at the next mile and ended up going and going until I got to my desired 16 mile mark. It was one of the hardest runs but tough runs make tough runners.

The wind was about 50 km/h with gusts of close to 80 km/h and it rained for the last half hour of my run. I got faster as I went which made for some serious negative splits. I like doing my long runs close to 9:00 min/mile and I finished with an average pace of 9:01. 

I fuelled in my hotel room with 62% of a Clif bar and a banana. I dropped some of the bar on the floor… oops. It wasn’t my normal pre-run breakfast but it worked and I didn’t have any stomach pain or cramps! I didn’t bring any water OR fuel with my on the run but I didn’t even think about it because I was so focused on running forward and trying to figure out routes with more time running with the wind. I felt pretty good at the end considering what I had eaten and what I had run through, I was just thirsty

Fresh buns with almond butter and cinnamon honey + tons of fruit = the perfect refuelling breakfast/lunch. I am really proud of myself for toughing out the run. It was hard and I wanted to stop about 91875931 times but I didn’t. I always want to wait for the perfect running conditions but perfect weather doesn’t make stronger runners, tough running does. 

This morning my mom and I went for a nice and easy walk. 90 minutes of loosening up my legs and getting some fresh air!

What has been YOUR most challenging run? Or something you thought you could never do but you did it?


  1. Good for you for powering through. I always make those bargains with myself as I run. Just one more mile then I’ll turn around. I can’t believe you ran 16 miles without water though, I would be dying!

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