Tuesday, 14 December 2010

the thing about running in snow is...

... that it is almost exactly like running in wet sand.

This means that any given distance tends to take a lot more energy than is the norm.

I call this a good thing. After all, if the purpose of the running is to maintain fitness and be ready for dropping the hammer on the bike (so to speak) come spring time then a little extra effort is worth it.

Tonight's run was a blast. It was snowing lightly, and most of the route I usually run was plowed or shoveled nicely. The temperature was about -9 Celsius. Due to blowing snow, and how fundamentally useless a plow is at making a sidewalk bare, I found myself in about 5 cm or so of snow give or take a cm or two the whole way. There were a (very) few bare patches and a (very) few unshoveled bits.

Big Kudos to the citizens of Waterloo and the city itself for doing such a great job of keeping the sidewalks and roadside MUPS cleaned off even during a week of fairly heavy snow. That takes a lot of effort and is appreciated. In particular I appreciate the MUP being done which runs beside the newish Westmount Road extension. I don't know who cleans it but it is either the city or the University of Waterloo. There are only about two driveways on it (one into Columbia Lake and one into the grad residences for the University of Waterloo) and the distance is almost exactly two km long. At this time of year, I imagine that the primary users of this MUP would be a few walkers, people like me, and a rare bike. A good effort for what amounts to a few users. Like I said, it is appreciated.

The only two unshoveled bits belonged to a condo corp and a school. The condo corp had made no effort to clean up at all (sigh) while the school had it plowed but it had drifted over during the day. To be fair, there has been a lot of wind, and the school does have this big old field, so the snow was not a surprise. With luck, they will get to it tomorrow again. It is interesting to run in snow that is over a foot deep with a trough up the middle. Each footfall is a little dance with a sprained ankle - the trick I think is to be relaxed, not go too fast, and don't fight the slide when your foot slips. Wiping out in the powder would not hurt, so it is not worth dramatics which might involve twisting something.

Anyhow, here is the report on mileage:

Run: 12.54km @ 10.06 kmph taking 1:14:49
Run km total: 47.03 km

Overall, I am very happy with that all things considered. It is within the ball park of what I would normally cover that distance in with no snow and temperatures well above freezing.

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