Saturday, October 10, 2009

Hazy shade of winter

Why is Jean bundled up? Read on...

I woke up this morning and took a look outside. It was dark, but I could see that a blanket of white was coating the trees and ground.

SNOW! The first of the season.

What a difference a couple of days makes. Wednesday was 64 degrees and I was running in shorts and a light top. This morning (25 degrees and breezy, making for a wind chill of 16!) required running pants, a winter base layer running shirt, jacket, balaklava, stocking cap, and my beloved winter choppers to keep my hands toasty!

Snow mixed with fall colors

The trails were in good shape. The snow did not really cling to the pavement. Some did stick in the grassy areas and on wooden bridge decks. I would estimate we got about a half an inch, but it will all melt today (in fact, most of it is gone already). Predictably, a few of the local homeowners associations that border some of the trails left their automatic lawn sprinklers on, so not only did they water their snowy lawns, but they also created skating rinks on parts of the trails! My winter running skills were tested in places, but traction was generally good.

Gorgeous fall colors along the lake this morning

This was arguably the prettiest run I have done, ever. The blanket of snow mixed with the fall colors was astonishingly beautiful. The snow was clinging to branches and leaves, effectively creating a winter wonderland (even though winter is officially more than two months away!).

Snow clinging to the trees along the trail

I did just over 12 miles, my last "long" run before Des Moines. All in all, it was a nice day to be running, even if the nozzle on my water bottle froze up, and I had to turn on my fireplace for the first time this season to warm up when I got home. :) I know it sounds silly, but I love running in the winter!

That being said, I have finished running errands and I think I will be in for the day. The wind is still blowing, and the high temperature isn't supposed to top 40 today. A great excuse to stay indoors, watch a lot of sports, and make some homemade pizza for dinner (I am trying something new again - a bit of an experiment, so I will let you know if it turns out).

Stay warm!

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