Wednesday, December 17, 2008

December running, Minnesota style!

2 degrees, wind chill of -9 degrees, and falling snow...


Minnesota has been getting clobbered with a cold snap. Tuesday morning on my drive into work, I saw a reading of -10 degrees below zero on my dashboard thermometer. Many areas of the state were even colder than that.

To add to this, the Twin Cities received some snow in the afternoon. It wasn't significant accumulation, but it was that really fine stuff that sticks to the roads. And, combined with the road salt, this makes for some slow going and slick driving on the highways. I don't think I made it above 40 MPH on the way home. Ugh...

I went running when I got home, and I was so glad I did. This was one of the most fun runs I have had in a long time.

A snowy Tuesday run on the trails. I was actually fortunate to get the pictures I did because the cold air drained my battery!

As stressful as the drive home was, the snowfall became amazingly beautiful as soon as I set foot outside to run.

The trails were covered with perhaps an inch of fine, pure white snow. Whereas the salted highways were slushy and slippery, the trails were not. The layer of fresh snow offered excellent traction. In many places, my footprints were the only signs that anyone had been there recently.

I was bundled up nicely with multiple layers, the full facemask, Gore-Tex trail shoes, and my awesome new running mittens (they could be the warmest articles of clothing I own). Never was I cold, even as my eyelashes had a frost buildup and my facemask was freezing over.

Yours truly, slightly frosty on my Tuesday run in the snow!

I actually met another runner. This was the only person I saw outside, and he was bundled up as much as I was. We exchanged muffled a "Hello" (a common runner's greeting during the winter in Minnesota) and both of us chuckled. I am sure he didn't expect to see anyone out here, either. But clearly, he understood the joys of winter running (even though technically it is still fall!).

Most people would tell me they think I am nuts when I insist this is great running weather. But I love it. Give me 2 degrees and snow over 80 degrees and sunshine any day of the week.

Some say running in the cold and snow might show you are nuts. Kentucky Fried Movie showed us another way... :) (By the way, can I just say this embedded video feature is fun?)

What I am trying to say is that winter running is awesome. The snow and the landscape can be very pretty, you will have the trails virtually to yourself, and you will never overheat so you feel like you can run forever. This is Minnesota running at its finest.

And face it; it would really suck if we had to stay inside until June when it finally gets warm again... :)

Embracing the cold,

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