feb 7/XT

bike 30 min/shovel 30 min
bike stand/driveway, sidewalk, deck
5 or 6 inches, I think

No running today. It’s been snowing since early this morning. Waking up before sunrise, I looked out the window and it was a beautiful blueish white. Now this is the kind of snow that I love! It snowed last night too, but then stopped overnight. Leaning my head outside around 7 pm, I smelled it–fresh, quiet, pure cold. I love that smell and the feel of the cold on my face. This morning, the snow was falling in big fluffy flakes and I was happy to be inside watching it. Although I did enjoy shoveling it too. A nice, light snow. Not heavy at all.

Here are 2 poems I wrote last winter that seem to fit my thoughts about the snow today:

This morning’s view

a white so white 
it’s almost blue
or the slight feeling of blue.
Is that what happens when 
snow is new
pure still perfect?
No sun yet or ever today
but the hint of blue blinds

what a snow!

feb 6/RUN

3.4 miles
mississippi river road, north/south
15 degrees/feels like 8
100% snow-covered

Also feels like: too warm for double gloves, an ice rink, a winter wonderland, I’m the only one not in a car, yaktrax

I ran today! It snowed 4 inches last night. The path had been plowed, which was helpful, but the ice was still there. I think this is the most slippery path I’ve ever run on. Wore my yaktrax and that helped, but only a little. I wasn’t worried about falling, just about twisting an ankle or a knee. Harder to run. My legs will be sore soon. Still, it was beautiful and there was hardly any wind and I had the path almost all to myself. One or two walkers, a runner, and an actual cross country skier! Not a roller skier, but a skier with skis! I think this is the first time I have ever encountered a skier on the river road. I loved listening to the sharp crackling of their skis on the crusty path. Glanced quickly at the river and noticed it was covered with snow. Everything is white today, the river, the roads, the path, even the sky.

layers: 2 pairs of running tights, a green base shirt, orange thicker shirt, thin black jacket with hood, gray jacket, 1 pair of gloves, 1 pair of mittens, a running belt with my phone and key in it, a buff, a visor, no headphones. Slightly too warm. Mittens came off after a mile, sleeves rolled up/hood off by the turn around at the railroad trestle, the buff turned into a headband by mile 2.

I don’t remember thinking about anything except for: this is slippery, ouch! (when my right knee shot out a quick flash of pain), I am running slow, how far should I run?, this is slippery, is that the Daily Walker? (no it wasn’t), I like the crusty snow the best because my yaktrax can grip it, I wonder what people driving by think of me running in this?, I hope no car slides off the road and hits me. No big insights or nagging worries. All wonderfully mundane.

feb 5/BIKE

30 minutes
bike on stand in basement

Boo. It’s not too cold outside for me (although it does feel like it’s below 0), but too icy. Not even yaktrax work. So I’m keeping safe inside. Riding my bike in the basement. Then watching the snow–which is now very rudely hiding the ice–from my window. Not sure when I’ll be able to run. The last couple of weeks have sucked. Too cold to run, now too icy. Hope next week is better. I suppose taking some time off of running before really getting into training is not the worst thing. I’ve been doing yoga and trying to figure out the best way to make sure both of my legs (and hips) have recovered from my injury last year. Seems like my left hip is stiffer than my right. Saw some exercises today for strengthening the hips on YouTube, including squatting on one leg. Will I ever be able to do such a bad ass thing as squatting on one leg? Is it wise for me to even try?

feb 2/RUN

4.75 miles
stone arch bridge to home
28 degrees
50% snow-covered
feels like: spring, sun, dripping eaves

One way runs are the best. No loops or turn arounds or thoughts about how I’ll have to run back up the hill I just ran down. Ran from downtown, right by the Stone Arch bridge, through the flats, up Franklin, under Lake Street, above the gorge, to the 36th street parking lot on the river road.

9 things I remember noticing:

  1. my striking feet sinking into soft mushy snow
  2. very bright, warm sun but no shadow
  3. running into the sun, I was blinded. All I could see were the sparkling spots of bare pavement on the path that the sun was illuminating
  4. spots of slick but not slippery snow in the shade
  5. passing under the light rail on the washington ave bridge, hearing it rumble then honk
  6. water trickling off of eaves, bridges, down rocks in the flats
  7. a dog’s collar clanging off to the side, turning and seeing it walking with its human right above the gorge
  8. river was covered with snow and ice, no black holes today
  9. heard voices coming from the hill up the U of M’s Wilson Library. Were they biking? Running? Walking? Not sure.

layers

two pairs of tights, green base shirt, orange warmer shirt, black vest, buff, hat, gloves, sunglasses. Today, the gloves came off, around mile 3, probably right after running up the franklin hill.

chants while breathing

I can’t remember when it happened but sometime in the 3rd or 4th mile, I started rhythmic breathing (in 3 out 2) and creating chants to match. I tried to remember them, but now I can’t. Except: raspberry/custard. mystery/is solved. who could it/be now? it could be/nothing. why is it/ something? These chants really helped by distracting me. I’ll have to remember to do these again.

Sadly, I spent a lot of mental energy paying attention to the path and thinking about which side I should run on. In the middle with the bare pavement but in the way of others? On the soft snow but out of the way of approaching bikers? Right next to the walking path? Close to the cars, on the edge?

feb 1/RUN

4.15 miles
mississippi river road path, north/south
8 degrees/feels like -3
100% snow-covered

Finally I get to run outside again. A balmy 8 degrees. Ran without headphones and listened. My feet on the crunching snow in quick, sharp snaps. A woodpecker rapidly pecking a tree. Some other random birds chirping. A dog barking in a truck driving by under the lake street bridge (is this the same truck, the same dog as last week?). Park workers starting up their chainsaws, clearing out dead branches. Brittle branches breaking–such creaking and cracking!

Layers: two pairs of running tights, a black tech shirt, orange thick cotton shirt, thin black jacket with hood, gray outer jacket, a buff, a visor, 1 pair of gloves, 2 pairs of socks. Again, almost too warm, except for my fingers which were cold for a mile. Unzipped my jackets a little at the end of mile 1, took off my hood at the end of mile 2, put it back on I turned around and faced the wind at mile 2.5, zipped up jackets to my chin at mile 3. Kept my gloves on the entire time.

Wind: Running north it felt easy which meant, of course, that the wind was tricking me. Hiding behind my back, slightly nudging me along without me noticing. Encountered a runner running south, bundled up with their face covered and I knew I was in for it in the second half. Yep. Turned around into a cold wind. Just read yesterday that you should always run into the wind at the beginning of your run before you get too warm and sweaty. Running into wind with a sweaty face makes you get colder faster. Oh well. It wasn’t too bad. Wind doesn’t bother me anymore.

The Path: Totally covered with snow. Not icy or slippery but slick enough that I was sliding slightly. Now, an hour later, my legs are more sore than usual….A few times I noticed how the path suddenly felt different–more absorbent, soft, gentle on my striking foot. Then I realized the Minneapolis parks crew had dropped dirt on the edges of the path. Mostly it was already covered in snow but in a few spots the dirt was still exposed. What a relief it was to run on those few, fleeting stretches!