January 30, 2007
I am not “like a real runner” as I wrote two weeks ago; I am a runner, for real. I may also be a little bit nuts. This photo is of me coming in from my workout last night. It was about 15 degrees (F) and snowing, but out I went. Note the fashionable headlamp, which I have recently started borrowing from Mr. Karen for my after dark runs. I’d been resisting the idea of wearing one because I thought it would be distracting and uncomfortable, but I finally decided that consequences of not seeing a patch of ice were potentially worse, so I tried it. I wore a cap underneath so the lamp could fall on the brim of the hat instead of into my forehead if it slipped, but it stayed in place and I barely noticed it. I only had one problem the first time; I was so entranced with how well I could see the sidewalk that I bumped my head into a low-hanging ice-covered tree branch. Oops.
Crazy as this might sound, I like running in the snow. It makes me feel a tiny bit heroic, like I’m triumphing over adversity. Some people don’t shovel their sidewalks, true, and that’s a bit inconvenient, but when I see what looks like a slippery patch, I run on the lawn next to the pavement instead. The footing is better, and I figure if the people do not care to clear their walk, surely they won’t care if I’m trampling their grass. I’ve had a couple slips here and there, mostly when crossing streets because it tends to get icy by stop signs, but so far no falls. I like it when I can see other runners’ shoe prints in the snow; it’s as if I have invisible training buddies. Last night was perfect for this—on the walks that had been shoveled after the last storm, there was just enough new snow to allow good footing while still making for fine shoe print leaving. I also got to see a dog romping in her yard, racing around biting the flakes falling from the sky; I wasn’t quite that energetic and joyful about the weather but I wasn’t wishing I’d stayed inside, either.