I passed the 1,500 mile mark this morning, covering the 1.5 miles I needed (plus 3.5 more) on my running snowshoes, in a mini-blizzard, at a pace which was, I believe, a bit slower than walking would be in less inclement weather.
Still, I was definitely running, plowing my snowshoes through several inches of new snow on top of a thick layer of older packed snow and ice. I felt a little bit like Dean Karnazes at the South Pole.*
It's like any kind of running, where the first mile or so is difficult and by the end of four or five you are ready to go on forever. Or at least a little bit longer. But so much time had passed, what with the slow running and several stops to return emails on my blackberry, that the only prudent thing to do was hit Starbucks and head home to get dressed and ready for the Christmas Eve festivities. I actually bought two lattes at Starbucks, one to drink in the morning while I was getting ready and the other to take with me to my parents for the afternoon. (Then I forgot the second one at the house after Rod picked me up and I certainly didn't have the nerve to suggest we go back, as he was slogging his car through the snowy, icy roads.)
I've spent the afternoon making lefse at my parents' house, to go with the traditional lutefisk dinner we have every year.** Lefse is kind of like a Norwegian tortilla, made with potatoes and flour, rolled out very thin and cooked on a hot griddle. You eat it smeared with butter, and most people like to put sugar on as well to make it more dessert-like.
Later Rod and I are going to church. The plan right now is to snowshoe from his house (only a block or so from the church), assuming we are not too exhausted. My parents, and my sister and her husband, are going to skip church this year because the roads are so bad. Considering the weather, it may be a very quiet service!
Right now, though, I am the only one here at my parents'. Rod is still at his parents' house, and my sister and her husband (and dog) are somewhere out there making their way through the snow. Hopefully they will stop at my house on the way, as I am expecting (hoping) a few last Christmas gifts to have been dropped on my porch late this afternoon. They all had a promised delivery by December 24, but with our weather conditions apparently all bets, and promises, are off.
Still, gifts or no gifts, and as troublesome as the weather has been in some ways, the snow has created a Christmasy atmosphere in a way that we usually don't get in this neck of the woods. (I've had my snowshoes for two years, and this is the first time I've ever used them at home. And I've been doing it for a week now!)
Whatever your weather may be, I hope your Christmas Eve, and Christmas, have been blessed and joyful, and spent with those you love. Merry, merry Christmas to all you readers, runners, non-runners, and anyone who found this post by googling "lutefisk!"
*He doesn't say here whether he ran in shoes or snowshoes, but in the book Ultramarathon Man, when he ran a South Pole marathon, he did use snowshoes at least for part of it.
**We also have a couple of other entrees, as not everyone loves lutefisk.