Snow Blind!

Sunday’s run was an adventure, of a kind we in the midwest have had, miraculously, very little occasion to complain about this winter. I spent the entire 8.5 miles running in the snow.

As is typical of a Sunday in my house, I had a lazy morning, a great breakfast (homemade biscuits and sausage patties! scrambled eggs!) and then idled around waiting for Steph’s Zumba class to start. Then, right when I realized her class was about to start, I begged her to help me get ready for my run. I stall, dreading actually getting started with that run, a run I look forward to each and every week. Sometimes I’ll stall until I eat again, sometimes I’ll stall until the weather does something I like. Yesterday I just stalled until I had finished a video game that I’ve been playing.

Well, Steph was out to Zumba, all done with her exercise, and back, before I had dressed and gotten out the door. Sensing my nerve having a slight window before it gave out entirely, I kissed her goodbye while she was still on the phone, and headed out for my run.

But with all that stalling, I hadn’t really thought to look at a weather report, or heck, glance out the door.

It was snowing.

I ran west, through Belleville, because that had been my plan, and I didn’t know where the snow was coming from. Besides, it was those big, separate flakes you feel like you are running between, not through. In fact, it’s what you could think of as a peaceful snow. No accumulation on the earth-warmed roads, and that natural muffled silence that a light snowfall gives the world.

As I crossed over Belleville Lake, the snow began to slacken as I apparently ran out of the storm. I mused about how little I, as mostly indoors creature, really ever get to experience the passing of a storm in ‘three dimensions’ as it were. I think of weather as lasting over time, not existing over locations, though of course I’m aware of the movement of storms from highway drives. Still, the realization that I could run out of the edge of a snowstorm and into brilliant winter sunlight was quite entertaining for the next couple miles.

And then I got a further lesson in how snow works. As I returned from my out and back run, I approached the same snowfall that I had left behind. In the intervening half hour though, it had changed! Gone were the idyllic fluffy white flakes, replaced with snowflakes packed tightly together as they fell, cold and wet, rapidly accumulating on the road, and reducing visibility to barely 20 feet in front of me.

The sudden snowfall seemed to have stopped traffic, though Denton Road is not very busy even during good weather. I saw only one more car before I reached town, to be greeted by one of the main intersections, snarled up by SUVs and sedans alike slipping around on that most unpredictable surface, freshly fallen snow. I decided (wisely, I like to think) to stick to the sidewalk rather than taking my life in my hands by risking crossing for my normal route home.

As abruptly as it came through, it was over. Once again, the very local nature of weather phenomenon showed through, and the last half of my run was in overcast but peaceful conditions, the only evidence of the storm’s passing a deeper chill in the air on this side, and the crunch of frozen slush on the road as I ran in closer to home.

Sometimes, even when there’s nothing really remarkable about a run, it feels remarkable enough to describe.

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3 responses to “Snow Blind!

  1. Sounds lovely. We’re having a complete non-winter this year, which means perfect running weather, but I fear the coming summer.

  2. I love running in the snow.

    What a cool experience. It is not often that you get to drive in and out of snowstorms, so to do it running is extra special. It seems to happen more often with rain, but that doesn’t have nearly the same visual effect.

  3. It truly is nuts how little snow we’ve had this year! Glad I’m not the only one who sometimes has trouble getting going on my run, even if I know I am almost certain to enjoy it. 🙂

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