Friday, January 20, 2012

Snow excuse for not running

Yesterday morning it was chilly, but clear. Perfect for a lunchtime run.

Between morning and lunch, someone undid the little twist-tie that was keeping the huge-ass bag of snow in the sky closed. All at once everything was covered in an inch of snow.

All of that snow, and the slippery footing and general misery that came with it, derailed the medium-long run I had scheduled.

For about 45 minutes.

Sitting at my desk, the guilt began to stack up. I'd already missed a workout earlier in the week to meetings. And someone's blog post from earlier this month kept ringing in my ears...  something about "when you skip a workout, you're adding minutes to your race time", and "You gotta suck it up on the shitty days.", got me dressed and out the door.


It wasn't long, about the time it took me to get clear of the parking lots and busy streets to a quiet neighborhood, before I was reminded how great it is to run in the snow. The quiet that comes from a blanket of fresh flakes is impossible to describe, as is the squeaky crunching sound you get with every footfall when those flakes are squeezed together.


Being the first to lay tracks in virgin snow is always a treat.

Seeing the usually invisible comings and goings of little creatures we share the earth with reminds us that we belong out here as much as they do.
Rabbit tracks from a bunny in a hurry

The excitement you feel for even a small patch of pavement, and how nice it is to relax for those few strides, helps us appreciate the little things that make running more comfortable, though a little less exciting.
Sweet, sweet traction

I love the moment when you realize that your hands have warmed enough to carry your gloves instead of wearing them. And later, emerging from the cozy neighborhood, back to the busy streets, feeling a blast of cold air that reminds us how nice our friends the neighborhood trees were for shielding us from the wind, and how nice it is to have gloves when you need them, even if they are a little soggy.

I hadn't run in real snow in months. I can honestly say it was a pleasure.

Mostly.

I did spend a few seconds thinking about how little traction my new shoes provide on snow... right before I misjudged a curb...

Fall #1 of the season*

Don't let a little thing like snow, or even a little spill, keep you inside. Embrace the season, let the cold air keep you cool, and be glad that you are able to run among the flakes. I mean the snow flakes, of course, not the weirdoes.

Good running,
Doug

*You may notice the L shaped track. That's the trace of my left foot as it landed, slid a bit forward, and then, as I rolled up onto the forefoot, traction gave way and it slid abruptly right/down the curb. The mess at the top is where I landed in a heap. All that snow provides surprisingly little cushion.