"For an occurrence to become an adventure, it is necessary and sufficient for one to recount it." ~ Jean-Paul Sartre

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Snowmageddon or Snowpocalypse? You Decide

Last night Mother Nature dropped 12inches of fresh powder on the Edwardsville area.  I woke up early because I knew it would take a while to dig the cars out and get ready to head off to work.  I dug everything out in about an hour and a half of hard labor.  I was taken back to the days when I used to shovel snow as a kid.  Ah, the good old days.  Too bad there weren't any kids out this morning.  I got in the truck and started to back up.  The truck moved a couple feet then the front end started to slide to the right toward the tree.  I did not want to hit the tree but more importantly I did not want to hit the neighbor's car that was parked close to me but on the other side of the tree.  I pulled forward and then tried to back up again, still the front end moved to the right. I was getting closer to the tree so I got out and looked to find that my passenger side front tire was on the other side of the landscape timber that borders my parking area.  It is only a few inches high but combined with the copious amounts of snow it was enough to keep me from pulling out. I called work and told them I was having trouble and would be on my way soon?  After some more digging and scraping I finally made it out onto the road.  Victory is mine!  Not quite, once out on the road basically all my tires did was spin and spin.  After some difficult maneuvering that may have included me pushing the truck, I made it off the street and back into my parking space.  I called work and told them I was going to wait for the plow to come through, but if they didn't come I would just stay home.  As much as I love a day off from work I did not want to use a vacation day.  Well you can't say I didn't try to make it in, and let's face it if you are going to get stuck right outside your house is the place to do it.

Now all that is just a long way of saying SNOW DAY!

YakTrax Pro y'all!
While I was waiting to see if the plow was going to come down my street I decided that it would be a good time for a run.  Why not?  I was already warmed up from all the shoveling and what-not.  Once I was all geared up (including my YakTrax) I headed out the door.  After about a tenth of a mile I had to turn around to get my sunglasses.  The snow was bright and the stuff that was falling was hitting me in the eyes pretty hard.  I was disappointed that I wouldn't be able to hit the trails.  That would have been fun.  I ended up heading out on the MCT Nature trail, since the trail head is so close to my house.  The Nature trail is the trail that I first started running on, and I don't get out there much anymore so it was cool seeing all the old landmarks.

When I first turned off the road I was really enjoying the feeling of the semi-fresh (someone beat me out there) snow fluffing up to my shins with each step.  So refreshing.  After the first mile I decided it wasn't so refreshing anymore, it actually kind of sucked.  It was around this time that I started thinking about how far I was going to punish myself.  I decided that I would run to Beth's office and shovel the snow for them since she always hurts her back when she does it.  I made it to rt157 after what seemed like forever and started to pick up the pace since I wasn't dragging my feet through the snow anymore.  Everything was going fine until I saw the snowplow headed toward me.  At first I thought "Oh crap!" but then decided to wave them on as if to say "hit me with your best shot!"  They moved over to the next lane so I guess I won that round.  When I got to the office Beth was surprised to see me, but not totally surprised.  Over the last 20years she has learned to expect the unexpected.

The snow was fairly easy to shovel and Beth's boss said dinner was on him, Score!

I stopped and took this picture with my phone.
It's not blurry that's just how Big Foot looks.
The rest? from running while shoveling the snow was welcome, since my legs were so tired from running in the snow, but with the snow shoveling finished it was time to hit the road.  I guess I should have mentioned it earlier but I don't like to run on the road when there is snow, the cars and the people get pushed too close together.  Like a good runner I switched sides of the road so I could run facing traffic, however this side of the road did not have the shoulder plowed as well as the other.  At one point I had to sprint and duck into a driveway to avoid getting too close to a big truck.  In truth it probably wasn't that close, but it it was close enough.  I switched back over to the other side where I could cut through some parking lots.  Much safer but the drifts going from parking lot to parking lot were sometimes waist high.  Even though they were so deep they were loosely packed so it wasn't too difficult to power through them.  On my way through the Wendy's parking lot a guy in a truck with a plow almost backed into me, that one was close!  From Wendy's I crossed over and ran through the High School parking lot them it was back onto the Nature trail.  Once on the trail nothing interesting happened just a long slow mile and a half to home.

I can't really say how much the YakTrax helped but they certainly didn't hurt.  I plan to use them more this year in different conditions.  I know some people who swear by them.

Even though this was the toughest 5miles I have ever run I still thoroughly enjoyed it.  Running in the snow is by far my favorite running scenario.  Hopefully we will get more snow this winter as long as I can get to work on time.


  1. Sounds like fun! I'm going to go out for a little bit, but I'm thinking I'll drive to the trails. Most likely won't run long enough to make it worth the gas, but it's too pretty not to go out and run.

    I shoveled my 1/3 of three driveways today, and I'm figuring that's a good enough strength/core workout for me.

  2. Where did you see Bigfoot? And next time you can come shovel my driveway instead of Beth's work.

  3. I am sworn to secrecy on the matter of the lair of bigfoot. After I shovel your driveway I guess you will want me to make you guys some waffles.