Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Finally, some snowshoe running

I discovered snowshoe running a few winters ago. I tried going out once last year after one of our few snowstorms, and it was an embarrassing failure. So in a year where we finally have some decent snow, how good was it to get back in the snowshoes again?

I went running on Friday up at Mom and Dad's, but otherwise the rest of my fitness activities were done wearing snowshoes. I am lucky that my folks have a network of trails that wind through their woods, which gives me a great opportunity to snowshoe to my heart's content.

Snowshoe runner



Saturday, I got in a scant 20 minute snowshoe run (it was freezing rain and really heavy, wet snow at the time...), but I followed that up with a much better 30 and 40 minute run on Monday and Tuesday. Doesn't sound like much of a workout, you say?

Here is how I figure it; go out and get yourself to a point where you think you are in great shape. Then, strap some snowshoes to your feet and try running on an unbroken trail. Soon, you will find out what kind of shape you are in! This is a pretty intense cardiovascular workout. It feels a bit like you are running in sand, even after you have pounded down the trail a little bit. This is fantastic exercise.

The snowshoe trail on Christmas Day



My Monday and Tuesday runs were great, with the best coming on Tuesday. By Tuesday, I had packed down the trail really well, and there was a light dusting of fresh powder on top. I was able to cruise through the woods and absolutely fly on the downhills (Which is really fun, by the way...your footing is so secure, and the claws on the bottom dig right in, so you can go downhill with great speed and confidence. Wheeeeeee!!!).

And what a treat to be able to run in such a tranquil setting. It was peaceful in the woods, and the trees looked so beautiful with the fresh layer of snow. And of course, I had to carry sunflower seeds with me, as I was occasionally accosted by Norris and his roving band of friendly chickadees. As always, they were happy to see me.

One of my chickadee friends



Norris, enjoying some seeds while sneering at my running outfit



So my return to snowshoe running was both successful and fun. I can't wait to go out again. (And judging by the condition of the trails back in my neighborhood, I could just as well have worn my snowshoes on my afternoon run!)

More to come... :)

Until next time,

Jean
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