Sunday, December 2, 2007

I survived the snow (just barely)

I peeked out the window around 8:00 this morning and there was still snow—in fact it was snowing—but it looked like pretty wet snow because it wasn't accumulating. In fact there was less on the ground than there had been late last night. So I figured the snow wouldn't disrupt my run, and there was no real need to rush out.

In retrospect, of course, I wish that I had gone out a little earlier than I did, before the snow started to melt quite so much. Instead, I headed out at about 10 a.m.

Even though I figured it wasn't really too cold out—I'm sure last Sunday morning was colder—I decided to wear long pants instead of my usual knee length or cropped running pants. (It's amazing how many shorter pairs of pants I have. I really need some long running pants for winter.) Later, as I couldn't avoid splashing through slush puddles, I was very glad not to have bare legs!

I debated at length with myself what route I should take. My usual weekday town route? Or the longer weekend waterfront route? I finally decided on the town route, so I could cut off easily if conditions got too unbearable. Besides, the snow was much prettier in the yards and on houses. Very Christmassy. I could just add a couple of miles to keep my mileage up.

I started out slow to warm up, as I usually do. Only I never really did warm up. I mean that my muscles never got warmed up—my legs felt stiff and slow for most of the run. (And my ankle/achilles tendon was a little sore throughout.) The rest of me didn't feel too cold, not until later at least. I was running a little carefully, not wanting to slip on the snow or melting snow, and trying to avoid stepping into too much slush or water. I liked the stretches of packed snow the best, because they were dry, and a very nice running surface, more forgiving than bare sidewalks.

By the time I got downtown (where I would normally turn around and head home, but today planned to add another mile out and back), the falling snow seemed a little bit more like rain and the slush on the ground seemed deeper and, if this is possible, colder and wetter. By now my shoes were pretty much soaked. And it seemed like I couldn't cross a street without stepping into two inches of slush. And my left shoe would not stay tied!

My last mile before turning around was uphill southbound on Colby to 41st Street. Today I was also going into the wind. Although it wasn't an especially strong wind, it was cold and wet!

The payoff, of course, is turning around and heading back downhill. Normally this is my favorite part. Today it was a little bit less wonderful, especially when a big truck drove past me in the street and splashed up a big wave of slush onto my legs. Lovely.

I stopped at the downtown Starbucks to use the bathroom. Again, this is usually a nice breather before heading into the final stretch home. But today, during the few minutes at Starbucks, all the body heat from running that had been keeping me warm despite wet feet (and increasingly, wet clothes and gloves) dissipated, and when I went back outside the damp cold really hit me.

It was, however, snowing again in big flakes! (Big, wet flakes.)

I slogged down Everett Avenue to QFC and Starbucks. I grabbed a few items in the store (making sure I didn't give myself too heavy a load to carry home) and, thank goodness, found some gloves for sale so I didn't have to put my wet gloves back on for the walk home. An extra hot latte at Starbucks kept me going long enough to get home, where I peeled off my wet clothes and headed for a nice hot bath!

But I did get 7.8 miles in, enough to keep me on track for the end of the year.

Now that the snow is melting, I just hope it drains away so that tomorrow morning is not so wet!

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