Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Winter running

It's officially a winter wonderland outside.  A huge dump of snow last night has transformed the world and turned my 3 minute commute into an adventure.  But I'm not writing about today, I'm still thinking about last night. 

6pm.  It was dark and cold and the snow had just started.  Thanks to a gusty wind, the snow was flying horizontally across the parking lot as I walked towards the running store.  Who the hell is crazy enough to run in this?  Apparently a lot of people are.  There must have been 50 runners out and ready to go.  Some were completely covered in layers to the point that they were unrecognizable.  Others had bare hands and thin layers on.  Some, like me, still had their short summer socks on, leaving ankles exposed to the howling wind.

Doesn't matter what we wore - we were out there.

It's usually only the first few minutes of winter running that are nasty.  My body quickly warms up and I start peeling layers off.  Then comes the wonderful feeling of being part of something bigger than myself.  I'm no longer trying to survive the run, it feels like I've become part of the landscape.  Running down side streets, it's quiet and peaceful and so very beautiful.  Running along major roads, I see the looks on the faces of drivers freezing in their cars and can't help but grin. 

Running in Canada is an adventure.  And I feel so lucky to be able to experience, really experience, all of our seasons.  Running has taught me to recognize and appreciate the subtleties of nature - I can tell when the temperature goes up or down a few degrees, I spot the first buds on the trees and I know the difference between a gentle wind that signals a lovely winter day and a gentle wind that carries the promise of spring.

The snow is still falling outside and the drive home tonight is going to be another adventure.  Maybe I should have run to work today.  

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