10 things I learned on my snow run this morning:
- It is possible to get even more excited about running in snow than when running in new places on holiday or doing a new distance / cool route
- The snow makes the pre-dawn light so bright that you can run in places (like my local park) you’d never normally venture at that hour
- Glacial ice crystals being repeatedly flung in your face considerably lessen the romantic effect of the winter wonderland
- The crump-squeal-thunk sound from shoes in snow never gets old
- Running in the city, it doesn’t matter how early you go out, a dogwalker will always have been there before you
- (Relatively) extreme weather conditions bring out the Blitz spirit in everybody, and people get so excited about the snow that you get chirpy smiles and chat from all—one runner whom I passed twice on opposing circuits was so giddy with delight that she very nearly hugged me on our second meeting
- The cushioning effect of thick snow makes it much easier to run at a sensible, non-race pace
- The cushioning effect of thick snow makes for much lower impact on joints, and with the snowfall at your back (not in your face), it feels as if you could run forever
- The cushioning effect of thick snow means that a 5 mile run feels more like an 8 or 9 mile run on tarmac, and my legs were pretty tired by the time I got home
- Even two buff scarves and a hoody weren’t enough to stop my chin from freezing
It is definitely true that as an adult, the weeks before Christmas can be stressful. Everyone wants their work completed before the holidays—for a self employed editor, this means articles, reports and books are all squeaking to be put to bed in the next fortnight, despite the fact that this period also contains approximately 24,632 musical recitals, Christmas concerts, school plays, and festive fairs, all of which need to be attended / child performers couriered to and from.
This is alongside the usual Christmas prep we all get through, all the while attempting to hold the values about service, humility, sacrifice and love at the heart of what we’re doing (rather than trolley-ramming someone in Sainsbury’s who gets between you and the 2 for 3 whimsical wrapping paper).
What I’m realising is that, similar to voting advice from Chicago mobsters, I should run early, run often. My usual routine just can’t continue without some flexibility at this time of year, so seizing every opportunity makes sense. Add to this the fact that the temperature drops off quickly from early afternoon right now, so the later it gets, the less appealing a chilly run becomes, and you quickly figure out that a 3 or 5 mile run first thing is probably more realistic than a nice long run later on (which may become a grabbed 3 miles in the grumpy dark).
Some of my running buddies are doing the #ru2c running challenge with me this December. Our main aim was simply to make a donation to MIND, the mental health charity, but we’re all very conscious that regular, frequent running makes a positive difference to our own wellbeing.
So this morning’s run was beautiful, and fun, and novel. Tomorrow’s run (as per current forecast) may be icy—and brief. Over the next few weeks I’ll need to figure out when and for how long I can make it happen every day. Run early; run often!
Running streak total today is 347 days, 1371 miles. #runeveryday