Thursday, 25 December 2008

The Christmas Run...

My pre-run warm up consisted of shovelling snow...again. We did our driveway and the neighbors. There wasn't a lot that fell overnight so it wasn't too bad. I am reminded of how wet the snow is out here by the weight of it! Holy hannah it's heavy! At this rate my biceps are going to be like Ahnolds! Definitely a good core workout as well.
If I forgot to use good form in moving all the snow, my mother was right there to remind me! 'Watch your back! Bend your knees!' It was hilarious. All excellent family bonding though!
As you can see by the picture below, we got a LOT of snow out here. The piles that were created from all the shovelling were almost as tall as I am. Also illustrated in the picture is my wonderful new lion toque, which I got as a stocking stuffer from the Parental Unit. Oh, I mean, uh, Santa... Proof that my parents/Santa are as wacky as I am. Or rather, I have inherited their wackiness and love of fun toques!
In order to be able to run in all this white stuff, I purchased some "high tech" gadgets called 'Stabil-icers' from MEC before I left for BC. I thought they'd be great for here and for back home so I wouldn't slip-slide all over the place. They are pretty straight forward actually. Rubber thingys that stretch over the bottom of your shoe with metal bits that stick into the snow or ice. At least that's my engineering description of them.
The toughest thing about these suckers were slipping them on my shoe. At one point I managed to 'sling shot' my shoe up towards my face as I tried to stretch the rubber over the sole. Whoops! Dad was ready to step in at that point, but I assured him I could figure it out... The next attempt I made sure i had my head tilted out of the way in case of flying shoe. See. Told ya I could do it!
Once outside I was in fine form. The parental units street was covered in packed snow from all the cars so they worked great there. I wasn't slipping or sliding anywhere!
They weren't as fun once I got onto the bare pavement though. The sound the metal spikes made on the pavement was like fingernails going down a chalkboard for me. The fillings in my teeth were vibrating! Gack. Therefore, I stayed on slushy bits and snow as much as I could.
Actually, this wasn't a difficult task. Although some of the 'busier' roads I was running on were bare with slush, most of my route was either packed snow or snow higher than my knees. I like to think of today's run as interval training!
I wasn't exactly sure where I was running to, but I started out on the roads near the house. I ended up on another road that seemed to actually go somewhere, rather than winding around the neighborhood. I met up with a fellow who commented that I didn't look like I was sliding too much. That's when I showed him my nifty new gadgets. We chatted for a short while, then I asked him where the road went. He said it met up with Hammond Rd. Hmmm...Hammond Rd. That sounds familiar.
Running around here is always an adventure for me. My parents moved to Pitt Meadows long after I had moved out of the house - I grew up in North Vancouver. So although they've been here for a while, and I've visted many times, I really don't know the area very well.
It was super warm out, by my standards, so I figured it'd be fun to keep running in this direction and see where Hammond Road was.
For a good portion of this section I was on slushy bare road. I was dying to get on some snow so I wouldn't have to deal with the chalkboard squeak.
Finally I was near houses again and got onto the sidewalk that had shovelled bits and not shovelled bits. This is where my interval training came in. On some sections I was running through snow that was at least two inches higher than my knees. I had to really lift my legs to keep moving. Then I came to packed snow so I could run 'normally'.
When I got to Hammond Rd I realized where I was and headed right. The trees along this road are amazing. They are evergreens and some of them are at least the height of a 6 storey building! I got to run under the limbs that were bowed by the snow and wondered if I'd have a dump of snow fall on me.
I was having a blast out there. It was so incredibly warm! Well, warm for someone that just spent the last two weeks in weather that 'feels like' minus a kagillion! I swear, I could have run in shorts and a t-shirt and been comfortable.
Instead of turning right when I got to the road that I know we turn down for the parental units, I decided to keep going straight. I remembered that there was another road I could run down that would take me to a pathway that would get me back to the cul-de-sac. At least I was pretty sure this was the case. Worst case scenario I could retrace my steps back!
The road, that I thought led me back to the parental unit, was bliss to run on. It was hard packed snow and my 'Stabil-icers' were working brilliantly. As I ran along I came across a set of stairs. Hmmm, now does this take me back or do I run straight.... For some reason I could remember going either way and having it work. I decided to go for the stairs.
They were covered in snow too and I was about to grab the nice cold metal handrail with my warm sweaty hand...but then thought there may be the possibility of getting stuck there. So instead I just walked carefully up the stairs. For whatever reason I actually had the urge to stick my tongue to the rail to see if it would stick! I think I've been watching too much 'A Christmas Story!'
When I reached the road at the top of the stairs, I turned left and found myself back on the road I had just taken the stairs from. What the....? Okay, this must mean that if I go right again I will get to where I need to be?
I ran along here for a while looking for the pathway that I knew would take me to the cul-de-sac. As there was snow piles everywhere I started to wonder if I'd missed it because someone had blocked it? Finally I found a little gate that sort of looked like a snow covered path.
Again I was in thigh high snow so did my now perfected act of stumble running through the snow. I found if I leaned slightly forward the momentum would keep me going through the slightly resistant snow, but not enough to fall. I swear the whole time I was running through the snow I had my usual goofy 'I love this!' grin on my face. Who needs snowshoes?!
Eventually I made it back to the parental units street. I looked down at my watch and saw that the time was 59:03 minutes. Perfect! I just had to run past the house and back again and I will have gotten a good hour in. I will refrain from stating the distance I ran as it was hilariously short. Considering the running conditions though, I guess it wasn't a bad effort.
The weather report is calling for another 15-20 cm of snow tonight, but we'll see. I think it'll be more likely we'll get rain, which is the usual for this part of the country. So tomorrow I will either be running in a big slurpie, or in more of the fun white stuff! Whatever it is I look foward to it.
Peace out my winter wonderland friends!

1 comment:

  1. And here you told me there was mumblty extra pounds stored in a mumble mumble. And none of that shows up in the picture.