Let's put the facts together: 16 degrees, icy roads, uneven surface. Sounds like perfect conditions for a run right? The first real smack of winter this year has given me my first excuse not to run. I took 5 days off...hibernating inside...longing for the 35 degree dry days from long, long ago (just last week). Yesterday, however, I wrapped up in an extra layer and decided to give it a go. And I'm glad I did.
When you haven't run on an icy surface in several months, it is a little uneasy at first. I felt like baby Bambi trying to walk on uncertain limbs. The sun was bright. The ice was rutted and uneven; fossils from the prior days activity. I stepped gingerly until gradually picking up some speed. Every now and then, a foot would slide out from under me but never to the point where I felt in danger of falling. In fact, it was always a nice reminder that I needed to keep my pace under control as the icy patches came quickly. I glided over a few before I realized that disaster was just a slightly more rounded rut away.
I was going for only a quick 3 miler to test the conditions. This turned into 5 1/3 miles as it was just such a nice, relaxing run. The ice was keeping my normal pace down and I found myself enjoying the sun, the crunch under each foot, and the overall stillness of the day. Is there anything better than ice covered trees illuminated by the wintry sun?
At one point, I passed a woman and her two dogs. She corraled them off to one side so I could pass. I attempted to give her the runners head nod and "hi". The head nod worked okay but I said "thigh" instead. My tongue was frozen.
All in all, it was just such a pleasant, refreshing experience that reminded me again why I love to get out, pound the road, and work up a good sweat. Even in 16 degrees.
For the day, with a suppressed pace, I managed: