It seems like every ride I take ends up as some kind of epic battle of the elements. Today's elements included ferocious wind that died down just when it was due to become a tailwind, a herd of crazed cows in the middle of the road, a bug that flew directly down my throat, and (most seriously) the rapidly setting sun.
I knew I might be cutting it close when I set out at 4:30 p.m., because it's getting dark ridiculously early these days. But I realized partway into my ride (scheduled for an hour and forty-five minutes) that I was attempting too big of a loop and wasn't going to make it home on time. At that point I scrapped the workout I was trying to follow and decided to book it home as fast as possible (which was kind of the idea behind the workout anyway). I was dreading the thought of being out there on a rural road with no shoulder (and no jacket, and no light) in the dark and cold. In the end I was home only 10 minutes late, and the temperature had only dropped to about 60 degrees, and the sun was still just visible on the horizon, so everything was fine.
And as a bonus, it ended up being a 15.6 mph average speed, which is really fast for me considering the wind. Also, gorgeous sunset for my run afterward.