I didn’t plan to run in a snowstorm. In fact, I hadn’t planned to run today at all. But, rather than do my long run after school last night, I made a mid-afternoon decision to work late and help Skipper with a research project. I knew I would have time to get my 13 mile run in early on Saturday morning.
But when I looked out the window this morning, I saw snow – lots of it. And without opening my eyes too much, I could tell it was deep and that roads, if they were even plowed, were going to be slippery. So, I rolled over and went back to sleep.
When I next woke up, I kicked myself for being such a wimp. I needed to get that distance in today as I think I’m running indoor track next week and racing a 5 mile road race on the following one. I started to juggle the “must-do’s” of the day with the “it can wait until tomorrow’s” to figure out where I could get in those 13 miles; I only needed two hours. Ha!
How To Run in a Snowstorm:
1. Hope for Natural Intervention: By 8:05, I suddenly found the two hours that I needed. With snow comes great skiing conditions. My 10:00 appointment was cancelled because they wanted to go skiing. Now I could run anytime until noon.
2. Plan a Route Close to Home: I initially didn’t want to go out because I was on my own. What if conditions worsened? By planning a route with my house at the centre and the radius being only 2 miles on average, I was able to run 12.85 miles and only cover the same road for 500 metres. This gave me the confidence to keep going – even when I was blasted with “freeze your lashes” kind of snow.
3. Run in car tracks: This gave me firmer ground to run on and dryer ankles. This trick only worked, though, until I got to busier roads where it was all slush. By the way, don’t run into cars; that’s just a bad thing to do.
4. Follow a snowplow: If you can’t, run his route in the opposite direction. After reaching the top of one hill, I was grateful to see a bobcat on the sidewalk (yes, roads were not cleared but some sidewalks were!), and ran in the direction he came from. I had 1000 metres of solid footing! A mile later, I found another plow and did the same thing; his route took me almost 3 kilometres before I had to drag my feet along wet, slushy roads or drive them into ankle-deep snow again.
5. Run like you’re a child: Enjoy the snow. Don’t worry about time or distance. Just get out there and have fun with it.
Those 5 easy steps made my run the easiest 13 miles (okay 12.85) that I’ve run in a long, long time. When I got home my eyelashes were frozen, my shoes were soaked and my gloves were covered in gunk from constantly wiping away the stuff flying out of my nose and mouth, but I got home feeling strong and happy. Sometimes, the best runs are the ones we don’t plan at all.