The white stuff

Fresh, unpacked snow squeaks when I run on it.

Skiers and others more used to winter climes know this already. But since it typically only snows once a year in my hometown, I had forgotten it, and had forgotten the sound. But as my trail shoes came down in the regular (slow) cadence of my 5 mph run, and because there was so little traffic and activity even though it was, technically, rush hour, and because the darkness seemed to enhance the sounds, I was keenly aware of the squeak.

Last year I ran in the snow for the first time, ever. And as I stood in my warm living room, a nice warming shot of Baileys Irish Cream in my hand (and some in my belly), watching the fat white flakes covering everything, I remembered.

The scrunch of the snow underfoot. Spots of snow getting in my eyes (should have bought goggles or clear sunglasses). The tunnel of light from my headlamp, occluded by snowflakes. Exertion and heavy breathing and the occasional slight slip of the foot that required a correction to stay upright.

It’s crazy. But I love running in the snow. I’m slower than I was last year, for sure, and the snow slows me down even more, and last night I had a a boozy warm glow that was probably both a danger and an encouragement, but… I had to go for a run.

I haven’t run outside in months. I think my last one was mid-September; took a break, and have only had the energy for running on the treadmill lately. For some reason, though, when the weather got worse, my motivation went up.

So out into it I went. 2.48 miles, from my house down through Westmoreland Park, and back again.

I’ll always be a runner.