Tag Archives: snow

Snow

Do you ever think you forgot to pack your running gear because that was what you were supposed to do?

Mežotne is a home nuzzled between tree coated hills. At the present, both the trees and the hills are hooded with snow.

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I may not have had running gear but I was armed with hiking boots, water proof gear, and my iPhone camera. I said, “Let’s go hike. We don’t even have to leave the back yard.”

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People don’t understand why I like snow so much. I don’t understand why they don’t want to view the world under a whole new setting.

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Although, at this point, I was wondering why I kept choosing to climb the hills.

It was a thrilling day in the beauty wood.

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Filed under exercise, Michigan, snow

Craving

I have a craving so strong I can almost taste it!

The crunch…the steam…

Just thinking about it almost makes my eyelashes freeze…

Yes, I crave something that makes my eyelashes freeze over.

I’m sure most of my family presumed I am talking about a craving for ice cream cone. Usually, the answer would be yes, but, not today. At least, not during the writing of this post.

I ache for a snowy run through the park. Oh, how I long to struggle to navigate through three inches of snow in shoes that were never meant for slippery conditions. I yearn to hear that snow crunch underfoot as I leave a lasting impression criss-crossing through the park. I pine for that moment when I struggle to blink after the condensate from my steamy breath collects on my lashes then freezes.

A snow blanketed park is peaceful and quiet. It seems like a whisper can be heard for miles, or, at least, by the snowshoer, the only other likely visitor but with much better traction, that would be walking through the other end of the park. I’d have to be careful what I whisper under my breathe when I fall on my rear just in case she’s offended by four letter words, like “sunn n rain”.

Global warming go away, bring back my snowy day!

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Snowflakes

Lackadaisical snowflakes flittered through the air just after sunrise early one morning in winter.

I ran.

Ten snowflakes combined together to perform daring skydiving tricks before landing on the warm concrete and disappearing in front of a gaping onlooker.

I inhaled sharp cold air.

Three lazy snowflakes climbed on top of their brother and let him do all the work of increasing their air resistance for a nice gentle descent into the bold green grass at the children’s park.

I ran.

Two tiny snowflakes raced to beat the another to the third bush at the grey house on the corner of Outer and Joliet Drive.

I smiled the snowflakes took an extra swirl and tumble in an air disturbance created because I was running.

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Sledding

The winter night concealed the rate at which the icy snow passed underneath the saucers generating a pack of fearless riders. We sat side by side on saucers at the top of the hill counting in unison, one, two, three! Six sets of eyes scanned the landscape below for darkened shapes suggesting a tree, a bush, or even a fence.

The kids pushed off first, my sister and I allowing them to gain a small lead before we began our rapid pursuit.

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The saucers fanned out but I quickly caught up to my niece and hooked into her arm becoming a two (wo)man speeding train. Across the hill I heard peels of laughter, squeals of delight, and statements of awesomeness. My saucer spun around till our train was flying backwards restricting my view of our path and the obstacles in it. I dragged my right mittened hand to redirect the train and shortly yelled, “BAIL! BAIL! BAIL!” The niece and I rolled off our saucers about 5 feet before a prodigious weeping willow.

“Hurry! We have to do that again!”

There is nothing quite like the magic of nighttime sledding. Besides the kids feeling fearless, I felt like the last thirty decades had blurred together making me ten years old again. I was not merely relating a childhood memory to them; they were living my childhood right along side of me.

I stood at the bottom of the hill marveling at Dad’s home, my childhood home, my home. The warm light from the living room reflecting off the snow giving everything at the top an orange hue. The moment was timeless and the joy endless.

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Filed under family, Michigan, snow

Snow Shoes

I’m standing in the kitchen, still in my pajamas, staring at the clock while mentally scheduling my day. I am trying to find time to fit in a run…

…4:30 pm get home from CPR class
12:45 pm leave for CPR class
12:20 pm take nap
12:00 pm eat lunch
11:30 am shower
Hmmmm. Currently, 9:45 am… If the hubs gets back from the store in time… Wait, I should be in my running clothes ALREADY! …

…I’ve established that I will have time for a run but I don’t want any ol’ run. I haven’t run outside in weeks and for the first time all winter we actually have snow on the ground. Running around Circle Drive seems as much fun as the treadmill. I want a Run Smiley run….

…The park is pristine white everywhere I look except at the river where it is shades of steely grey. I am mentally crossing my fingers that my New Balance Minimus Life shoes are up for the job. I intend to run full blast across the center of the park through the snow instead of along the park roads. My Minimus Life shoes have little to no ventiliation which means they will keep out snow better than my well ventilated Merrell Pace Gloves. I am finding out they also have little to no traction in the snow causing me to slide around on the uneven ground behind the fishing pond. I am going to take it in stride and focus a little more on keeping my balance. Otherwise, my foot strikes feel like I was made to run in the snow…

…I’m not even halfway through the park and I’m miserable. I’m running faster than I should because a snowshoer came up behind me when I started and I didn’t want her to laugh at me trying to run in shoes in the snow. The cold air is burning my throat. I’m laboring to take a breath. At least two toes on each foot are numb. I think, “OMG, I have got to stop”. I have to admit that I am bummed that my run smiley run is turning out to be craptastic….

…Since the run stinks, I might as well pull out the camera took take a few shots. I hope that I can get a good picture that I can lie write about…

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…I don’t know how it happened but somewhere between the last picture, the river, and the baseball field, I changed. Now, I am feeling spectacular. My feet feel like they’re nestled up next to a cozy fire. I’m running with the wind so my lungs and throat are no longer being brutialized. My joints are moving like high precision ball bearings. THIS IS A RUN SMILEY. I feel so good that I am not going back to the car just yet. I am going to run to the playground and have a little fun…

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…Alright, the playground is fun but I’m a little nervous about slipping on the snow covered wood. And, let’s face it, I’m really here at the park to run. The snowshoer left me a great trail to follow so I am going to go where she went. Interestingly, it looks like she went into a part of the park I’ve never gone into. It’s like I’m Christopher Columbus. I’m pretty stoked to be going into unchartered territory…

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…I’m glad I didn’t give up on my run today. I’ve never outright run through the snow like that. I’m having fun, feeling challenged, and knocking off new experiences at every turn. But, since I just landed on my tush, I’m coming back with snowshoes next time…

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One Week

One luminous January day, I was overdressed and perspiring within 1/2 mile of starting an excursion. Truth be told, if it had been a normal Saturday in January, I would have been struggling to keep frost from building up on my eye lashes rather than struggling to cool down after making a last minute decision to put on a light jacket. My two companions, on bikes, were fairing much better in just jeans and sweatshirts. I, on the other hand, had pulled crazy snowflake (hopeful thinking) socks overtop tech running tights then slipped them into Merrell Pace Gloves. On top, I had two (many) layers of shirts and a jacket, hot pink, ironically. The only thing I got right was my lack of head gear allowing my head to breathe.

Did I mention it was Saturday? The three of us were headed into town to drop a package at the post office, stop in for smoothies at Jazy’s Java then pick up a handful of candy at the candy store (otherwise known to adults as the party or liquor store) before running/biking home for lunch.

One week later the situation was as turned around as a contestant in Pin The Trail On The Donkey. Snow was lightly falling upon seven inches of powder that had accumulated the day before. I was trudging up a hill of untouched snow on the edge of a rolling soybean field. This time, my companions had replaced their bikes for antique snowmobiles and were driving them in gigantic circles at the center of the same soy bean field. On this cold and blustery Saturday, a pair of Rocky Gear hunting boots rated for forty below zero encased my snowflake socks. A fire engine red Columbia jacket and a pair of waterproof bib overhauls replaced the tech tights and hot pink jacket to protect my body from blowing snow. A ten pound, black and white striped helmet securely rested on my head with the face shield raised open. A mask protected the lower half of my face and neck from the arctic breeze. I was hiking the edge of the field as something to do while the boys practiced driving the sleds. Even then, I was sweating.

One week. A different world. The same person.

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Photo by Arnis Kengis

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Filed under Michigan, minimalist shoes, running, snow