If you’ve never run down a moonlit trail in a snow storm you don’t know what you’re missing.
…a bit of snow. It’s so brown and ugly out right now.
Sunday’s run was one of those days when you go out running, and you’re only glad you went out because the experience of it is (a) something that needs to be shared to be appreciated, and (b) leaves you with both a story (as in “remember that day…”) and a point of comparison for all future runs that will undoubtedly have better trail conditions than this one.
The temperature was hovering just around freezing, and maybe even a bit above. We had accumulated a couple centimeters of fresh, wet snow overnight. And everything instantly began to melt just enough to become a lake of cold, sloppy slush on every possible surface.
By the time we’d reached the relative dryness of the gravel river-valley trails, we’d traversed enough puddle-laden asphalt that our feet were soaked.
Every step was a sloppy little splash. Every step squeezed a little more icy water between our numb toes. Every step had us yearning for a dry pair of socks back home.
I slept Sunday night with wool socks on.
Pictures? Yes. I brought my GoPro! The following are animated GIFs. Click each to view, wait a few seconds for it to load, but make sure you’re on wifi because they are pretty big downloads.
Probably shoveling. Yeah, shoveling snow is so awesome. It’s the best. You should come over next time it snows. I’ll let you try it. Just don’t tell anyone else how awesome it is.
…and a bit of snow.
The weather turned, and we woke up on Sunday morning to a bit of light snow clinging to the green grass and cherry tree blossoms.
I wore long pants for my run for the first time in –well– weeks.
Also, I’ve been running every day for twenty-four days. A hundred and ninety klicks in the bag. And while I was aiming for somewhere between three weeks (which was reasonable) and the entire month of April (which would have been pretty awesome too) I’m stopping at twenty-four days.
I was trudging on through a cold and windy ten klick run, Jenn having brought little E along for the ride in the chariot. Leon had taken over on stroller duty and while I totally would have taken a turn and pushed for a while (a) he was having way too much fun and (b) I was just so damn tired I was not fighting too hard for the front of that queue.
We trudged out ten klicks, and my legs and my back and my brain all hurt at the same time. I could push through and burn out six more days in April, but I think it would just be diminishing returns. Maybe even negative effect. Miles in exchange for both my sanity and health. So… I think I’ll call it three successful weeks plus three bonus days. Done.
And then he rested… and it was good.
We now resume our regularly scheduled training program.
I’ve been off sick. I finally relented a took a couple sick days and stayed home to nurse myself back to health.
Drum roll… the results of which, after lots of sitting around doing nothing much more than watch television and play video games, drinking hot tea and having long afternoon naps with my Kindle hanging limply from my hands, I am feeling significantly better. Maybe not cured, but better.
Even though I was still a bit tired, I was also going stir crazy. And the snow had started to fall, just lightly though, but with the dude on the radio promising a long bitterly cold weekend full of more snow and more ugly weather, and as he put it “a great weekend to stay indoors and watch a movie.”
So, I tempted fate and went for a short jaunt around the local neighborhood, just enough to get the blood flowing but not enough to crash me on the couch for another two days… at least not because of my health.
I couldn’t be more pleased with how these photos turned out.
It was coming up on noon, and I knew I needed to go out and get in –at least– a short run. So, when I stumbled up the stairs from the basement and noticed that the sun was streaming through the window, I barely hesitated. I was dressed, camera in hand, and out the door five minutes later.
The sun low on the horizon, the freshly fallen snow, and some quiet trails were a technical trial to be sure, and by the time I emerged into the neighborhood to say that I was winded was an understatement — but the conditions were photographically darn near perfect.
In the end I’d captured about ten minutes of solid footage — and the results are seen in the following screen-grabs:
There are about 40 more, and I’ll be doing more with a lot of these in the coming months, and of course a bunch of equally awesome footage.
Find an excuse to go outside.
Welcoming back some snow sports; Running through the snow, skiing in the park, and sledding with the girl…
As much as I was a little sad to see the snow, the upside was that it was my first official winter driving experience in the truck. I ended up the day by putting on a little over 60km around the city –commuting, picking up Claire, running some evening errands– all on some moderately sloppy streets. It’s dangerous out there, and I don’t want to be too cavalier about that danger, yet it was a modest comfort to be able to try out the 4×4 on the snow-and-iced suburban trails and have that comfortable feeling of near-guaranteed acceleration at an intersection, or the confidence to keep a safe speed on the freeway in thick traffic. I saw enough vehicles in ditches, and at least one truck wrapped around a light standard, so I know that confidence can get away from some folks. But some of that lingering uncertainty I had about the truck dealing with the winter is slowly melting away.
On the radio this past week there has been some ongoing banter about participating in sports in the (local) winter. They were discussing the value of –specifically– cycling in winter, but for the parts that I heard there was a lot that could be translated into advice on running in winter, too… well, apart from the bits about studded tires. It did get me thinking: despite its late arrival this year, the snow is presumably coming. It’s already pretty cold out, and its only a matter of time before getting outdoors in the deep chill becomes more a chore than a joy. That said (and in light of what they were discussing on the radio) I really do think it has as much to do with our perception of the cold than the actual feel of it. After all, we’re all hardy Canadians. We get this weather six months of the year, and if we really didn’t like it we’ve move away, right? So, here’s what I’ve decided: I’m going to put on an attitude shift this winter along with all my warm woolen running gear, and I’m going to try and think about (and of course write about) winter running is the sunniest light I can muster. That’s gotta be worth a few (psychological) degrees of extra warmth, right?