As we rounded a small knoll and launched into a steep descent, the wind and road direction shifted just enough that the wind was entirely at my back. I inadvertently increased my pace, and the incessant roaring quieted some. It reminded me of a most wonderful bicycle ride in Juneau, an experience I had once after grinding up Eaglecrest Road and giving everything I had to 3 mph pedaling into a 30 mph headwind. I turned my bike around, grabbed the wind like a sail, and flew down the road until the wind quieted completely. The air was as silent as morning, and my body was as weightless as space. Looking down at my bicycle computer, I saw I was moving at 43 mph — likely the exact same speed as the wind.
"If only I had a bike," I thought as an expanse of volcanic desert stretched out in front of me. The fastest humans in the world can't run 43 mph. But this wind felt nearly as strong, and I ran as though I could catch up to it. My legs throbbed with the effort and my ankles quivered in fear, but the feeling was amazing — like flying, with a hundred jarring landings. Now it was dangerous and beating me up. "Bad running," I scolded myself, but I couldn't help it. I was like a little girl splashing through puddles, arms raised to the wind.