Alarm off. Running pants, long sleeve NYC shirt, a second sleeveless running shirt, hooded sweatshirt, running gloves, ear warmers and a beanie on top of it. And finally, snow shoes. Wait, I don't own snow shoes. Anyone have tennis rackets and some duct tape? No? Ok, my trusty Asics will have to do. Grab my water belt, Garmin and I'm ready to go.
I don't know if that is over-dressed or under prepared and there is only one way to find out. I almost slip on the way out the door and consider that this may be a nightmare waiting to happen. But, I know I just have to get to the road where snow won't be a problem. A hundred or so feet more and I hope I am now in the clear.
I run in the Bay Area (in California) where snow isn't an issue. Im used to 50 degrees being cold, requiring gloves and 5 mins of complaining about how cold it is before our group run. Once I get out to the street it takes me a few steps to get the blood flowing. I wind a few curves and climb some rolling hills, which comes with the territory on a side mountain road and start to breathe heavier than normal. I can see altitude will be an issue today, but it makes me a stronger runner, right? Now I can race with the elites after some training at altitude. (insert sarcasm) After awhwile, I check my watch to see how far I've gone and all of a sudden, .4 miles doesnt seem right. Can the satellites not find me? I decide to run based on time, rather than distance since my Garmin seems to be "on vacation."
I left the iPod at home since I need to be able to hear cars coming down the two lane road. Traffic is really light to begin with and everyone still seems to be asleep on a snowy holiday morning. But to play it safe, no earbuds for me. The dogs are awake and several come and greet me as I run by their yards. I wonder what they are saying: "Hey, how far are you going today?" I wonder if they are mocking my out-of-sync Garmin.
I hit 45 mins and see that I am estimated to have traveled 3 miles. That doesnt seem right, but it was hilly and I did enjoy a couple walk breaks. I decide to turn around and conclude that a 90 min run sounds pretty good. Besides, it's warm inside and the TV probably misses me. As I head back the same way I came, the miles seem to fly by. But that is always the case. I climb up what was downhills on the way in and see the same dogs who greet me with the same demeanor. "Hey, have you figured out how far you've gone yet?" Nope, still not working. Beep. Now my Garmin AND the dogs are mocking me. I snap a few photos on the way back since it isnt very often I get to run near snow.
As I reach the house, my Garmin reads almost 7 miles which makes complete sense on an out and back where I turned around at mile 3. Dogs 1, Me 0. I stayed pretty warm the whole way, legs felt strong. I would have liked to have logged more miles and got in more time on the road, but getting up and out on a snowy morning was half the battle... so half the distance seemed appropriate.