Tag Archives: winter

Sucks

Saturday, I went for a bona fide run. You know, an outside run where I ran a concrete, measurable distance instead of in place like a hamster. It took me ten steps to realize that this run was going to be onerous, and it was going to suck.

Running on a treadmill is elementary because pressing the start button triggers your basic instinct to survive. You must run to prevent falling to your death. When outdoors, however, not running (example: walking) has a greater likelihood of personal survival for the average, middle aged paper pusher like me (minus situations incorporating zombies or bears). Survival mode or not, I was there for a bona fide run.

Ninety feet into my run, each step is like a stampeding elephant. The jarring shock waves that should be shaking the trees aren’t because the shock waves have been corralled inside my skin. Every bone, joint, and muscle feels the 7,000 kg striking force in each step. I monitor my stride, foot placement, and cadence but there is no escaping the stomp of a stampeding elephant.

I remind myself that the first mile of the run is always the hardest. It’ll get better.

Now 600 yards into the run, I think if I were an original engine in a 41 year old Camaro, the mechanic would have already dove through the window to shut off the ignition to stop the devastating knocking that would surely cause the parts to seize shortly. Instead, I’m just a 41 year old runner, ah, former runner, trying to recapture a little of the glory from 8 years previous. Those knocks aren’t going to go away by stopping.

Finally, I run past a mile. It’s that moment, the 5280th foot when everything starts to run smooth. Yet, at 5281feet, this run still sucks.

It wasn’t until I’m in the neighborhood of 1.5 miles that the knocking is gone, the elephants stomped away and I enjoy running again.

Two minutes later, I’m out of time. I stopped running and walked home. Being out of time sucked the most.

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Filed under exercise, minimalist shoes, running

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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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

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