Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Running In A Winter Wonderland

Since last weekend everyone has been in a panic about Leon.  (Apparently we've been naming winter storms for a while now, though somehow this is complete news to me.)  They started closing schools over the weekend, days before the storm was scheduled to arrive, and on Tuesday morning they declared that we were in a "state of emergency."  Tuesday afternoon I got out of work early and set out on a 10-miler just as Leon was making his way into town.  It was freezing cold, wet, windy, and by the time I was done my jacket and gloves were literally covered in ice.  Not the most pleasant experience.

It iced/snowed all night and when I woke up all roads were covered in a thick layer of ice with a few inches of snow on top.  I was debating on whether I should go to a treadmill or run outside.  In the end, the great outdoors won out and I'm so glad it did because I had one of the funnest runs I've had in a while!   It was like being out on one big playground :)

It was a bit treacherous getting out onto the main roads b/c the side streets hadn't been plowed at all!  This made for slow goings at times.  I had heard the beach was covered in snow and I wanted to see this because I feel like it probably doesn't happen that often, so I ran down to the beach and it was pretty darn cool! 

I then decided to run a few miles on the beach because running on the packed sand close to the ocean afforded a lower fall risk than running on the roads.  And it was pretty!  On my way from Johnny Mercer's Pier to the Oceanic's Pier I saw people sledding!  What a great idea!  I almost asked if I could try it, but just settled for a picture.  Though why people who live here have sleds on hand I'm not so sure?

I made it to the Oceanic and stopped in to see this guy:

He offered me jokes and some pink lemonade that tasted like the Atlantic Ocean.  Thanks Jester!!!  After that I decided to head back on the roads.  Unfortunately the South end hadn't been plowed very well/at all.  I was running on this road

when all of a sudden a cop got out of his car, started yelling at me, and the following conversation ensued...

Cop:  Are you serious right now!!!???  Are you serious!!!???
Me:  Um, yeah.
Cop:  I don't think you get my point.
Me:  What's your point?
Cop:  You are running down the middle of a sheet of ice and cars are having to go into the other lane to get around you.  You could get hit.  These clowns have no business being on the road in conditions like this!
Me:  I know, that's why I'm out here running because I thought it would be unsafe to drive to the gym.
Cop:  Rolls his eyes but nods in agreement.  Why are you running in the middle of the road?
Me:  Because the traction is better where vehicles have gone over the snow; it's more slippery and icy  on the sides.  Look, what do you want me to do?
Cop:  You should probably go home.
Me:  I am, but I'm still about 4 miles away from my house.  I'll try running closer to the side of the road, ok?
Cop:  Ok, fine.  Be careful.

This was an annoying turn of events because there were hardly any cars even out!  And it slowed me down to 9 minute miles for a stretch until I got back to clearer roads.  Despite that minor brush with the law, it was a really fun inspiring run and great to be out in nature's elements!  That being said, I'm glad that it's going to be in the upper 60's this weekend because although it was fun for a day, I would not want to have to deal with running in this type of weather all the time!  I don't know how your Northerner's do it, but I give you much respect.  Play it safe out there everyone!

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