Posted by: Karen | November 21, 2007

Snowfall Therapy

Yesterday I spent the entire work day in a big windowless room at a hotel, coordinating a workshop for an interesting collection of business people. I think it went well, and it was not a stressful day, just long. I still managed to get everything packed up and across the city back to my home just in time to change into winter running clothes and take Soccer Boy to practice.

Hubby had gotten home early and fed the kids supper, but I had to skip it. I’d had a good lunch and snacks earlier in the day, so munched on some GORPcc (good ol’ raisin’s & peanuts w/chocolate chips) in the car instead.

It had started snowing on my commute home, and there was some accumulation by the time I got to the Oval at the University. My thermometer said it was only -5*C/23*F outside, so I didn’t bring track admission and dressed for the weather. I don’t see the point of running inside unless the weather is nasty, and last night I just needed to get outside.

Apparently my definition of “nasty” weather is different from the rest of the group’s, because they all decided to run inside! They murmured something about wind chill and speed repeats and needing traction or something and one by one disappeared into the bowels of the facility. I didn’t say the “w” word out loud, but it crossed my mind.

I ended up doing three one-mile laps of Bruce’s loop on my own; one counter-clockwise and the other two clockwise. The snow was deep enough to make a satisfying styrofoamy squeak with every step. By the time I was on my third loop I couldn’t see the footprints I’d made on the first loop. I didn’t slip, nor did I worry about traction. I’m a trail runner, training for 7 more races in a winter series. Working on balance in variable footing is more important to me than flat speed repeats at this point in the season. I’ll get to that in the New Year.

When I faced into the gentle breeze, the snowflakes hitting my warm face zapped me with contrastingly cold tingly bursts before melting. I tasted and breathed refreshing moisture from the heavens. On my final loop I was surprised to find that when I moved my eyebrows, my toque moved with them. They’d accumulated snow and frozen together. My pink fluffy mitts had turned white with all the snow stuck to them, and I had collected a mini-snowdrift on the v-neck collar of my fleece pullover. Instead of running through the University on the way back to my car, I ran around the edge of it, on a trail under an arch of two rows of trees. Bliss!

I’d forgotten about the ice on my eyebrows until it melted into my eyes in the warm car on the way back. I retrieved Soccer Boy with a big smile on my face, and later went into total Zen mode in a warm bath. Ahhhh… let winter begin!



  1. Just catching up on your blog. I think part of the “snow therapy” is running in isolation. I know I love running in wintry weather for just that feeling that no one else is doing this and I’m truly alone with my thoughts, to sort as I please. Unfortunately, I don’t get nearly as many opportunities as you do to indulge in this type of running. Glad you do!

  2. Sounds like you had some good therapy outside last night. Sorry for wimping out 😉 For me it’s more about the traction than the cold, I had planned on running outside until I saw the snow.


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