I know many of you are grumbling about this fresh blanket of the white stuff!
Don’t grumble, get out there and have some fun with it!
The gyms are closed, so the treadmill is out, but before you decide to skip your run, think again. Use this as an opportunity to run for fun, no Garmin, no pacing, no targeted speed work, just some fun, fresh air and a workout that you’ll be glad you did!
Of my entire apartment complex, mine – and the beagles – were the first steps out this morning, and when I left for my run an hour later, no new imprints had been made. I was surprised given the number of kids in the neighborhood. When I was kid and still living in Virginia and we had a snow day, I was up at first light and outside and on my second change of clothes by 9 AM from playing and getting so wet. It was probably the only time I was so willing to get up in the morning, as my mother will certainly attest to!
But this morning I was the lone runner, lots of other folks with dogs out playing. All in pairs, a pair of Springer Spaniels all toasty with booties and coats walking their people, a pair of yellow labs helping shovel a driveway and a pair of chocolate labs ready to join me for the end of my run. And, of course, my beagle boys, who were initially excited, but when the snow is up to your shoulders, it can be a bit challenging to take care of business.
The first hours and day of the snowfall is typically the best in Virginia, as it has not had a chance to turn to ice and slush and then refreeze yet. The first concern most folks have when it comes to running in the snow is falling. Legitimate concern. First rule, SLOW down. This isn’t the time to fret about your pace or try to do a targeted speed session. This morning I ran down the middle of the road in the tire tracks along the neighborhood streets, still slipping a bit, but I just took it slow and enjoyed my surroundings and quiet!
In the days ahead as this melts, refreezes, gets chunked and potted with holes and treacherous patches, go ahead and walk the few steps required to traverse a tricky patch of ice that you can’t go around.
When all these crazy slick spots get too annoying to deal with seek out a place with dirt or grass underneath, ie; the grass beside the sidewalk. The snow is more likely to remain snow on these surfaces, stay soft and you’ll be able to navigate more safely than you would the sidewalk where it can go from clear and dry to slick every few feet.
Another option is to hit the trails, such as First Landing or even the hills at Trashmore in our area. Again the soft earth under the snow will help keep the surface runable.
I would recommend you avoid running in the dark on icy roads, if you must, be sure to wear a headlamp and pay close attention to your footing.
I’m a Colorado girl at heart and get so excited when I get to get out there and enjoy the flakes. There is just nothing like that hush a layer of snow creates, temporarily turning all chaos tranquil. Even if it doesn’t bring you the joy it brings me, don’t let it force you inside, embrace it, layer up and take it as a new challenge!