I don’t know about you, but I love it when I’m able to do something with running that I’ve never done before. It may be something as difficult as setting a PR or as simple as meeting someone new who is a runner. Maybe you have stumbled upon a new area in town that is a great new place to run, or found something fresh to enjoy about an old route. Or maybe – like me – you face the prospect of another day without running, or brave the elements outside to free yourself.
Since it was Christmas, and I have little ones in the home, I knew better than to plan a morning run yesterday. I hoped somehow I would make it happen in the afternoon when everyone was busy with their new toys. After several inches of rain that started in the middle of the night, I knew my chance for a run was out. When the rain turned to snow, I briefly entertained the idea of hitting the road before I was trapped indoors but it was too wet (and too windy). Maybe I’m a chicken, but I decided to ride the stationary bike to burn off Christmas cookies instead.
I live in North Texas, and we don’t have a lot of snow. In my two and a half years as a runner, I’ve never run in the snow. A snow day here usually means sleet and ice – no school for the kids and I won’t drive in it.
Two years ago, I was stuck indoors with the kids for four days. The temperature didn’t get high enough to melt the layers of ice on the roads and by the end of the third day, I had my husband bring me a six-pack of Diet Coke and a package of Hershey’s bars. (Yes, it was necessary). I didn’t feel the need to run at that point in my training, but I rode the stationary bike to compensate.
Today was different. I wanted to run in the snow. The sun was shining, but I bundled up since the temps were still in the twenties. I was pretty excited about doing something new.
I enjoyed traipsing along the fence line which I typically avoid when I’m training on the road. There was a beauty to running through the smooth white blanket, and a challenge to my legs that typically move forward at a steady rate. It reminded me of a trail run, as I moved my feet to the right or left to maneuver through the powder covering. I listened to the crunch as I landed in the packed snow, and kept my eyes peeled for slick spots as I crossed the gravel drives of my neighbors.
I tried not to think about what drivers could be saying about me as they passed: “How foolish to be out running in this weather!” Especially when my foot landed in a small hole as a car was passing by. I was thankful I didn’t fall. I focused on breathing the cool, crisp air, the movement of my feet, and the beauty of running in the snow.