Friday, December 21, 2012

There's No Business Like Snow Business

Dec. 21, 2012

There might be no business like snow business, but for runners, Day 2 of snow can go from fun to tromp around in too dangerous to navigate, in a big hurry.

So yesterday's excuses to ride the spin bike as cross-training gave way today to an adventure out onto the mean streets of the neighborhood. That and a drop in the wind and a sun-shiny day made for a perfect opportunity to get back outside.

Now normally I'm not a road runner. I'm content to traverse the sidewalks of my neighborhood. I have just never seen the point of running out on the road with the cars.

Yes, I've heard the arguments that it's softer and smoother to run on asphalt rather than on the concrete of the sidewalk, but normally I'm not buying it.

Plus, most of the road runners I see are out there moving with traffic or so far toward the middle of the road that they are in danger of being hit by an oncoming car. And don't get me started about people who run side by side.

Today was all about breaking the rules and living dangerously. Somehow the Earth had been spared the Mayan's prediction of a sudden end, so playing out of bounds seemed more like the order of the day than some rogue act normally reserved for miscreants.

That, and the fact that if I tried to do my normal loop on the sidewalks I could rest assured that a trip to the emergency room would somehow be involved.

After 2 or 3 inches of snow fell on Thursday most of the sidewalks were still caked with moisture. I was going to call it the white stuff, but by Day 2, it was more like the gray stuff, or the salt and pepper stuff.

Most of the snow was layered over a covering of ice that made the going a little treacherous. I've always had a fair respect for black ice, or that invisible slippery layer that can coat sidewalks and roads and make them extremely slippery.

So I set off on a road run, hop-scotching my way back and forth between open stretches of clean sidewalk and portions of roadway adjacent to the ice-covered sidewalk.

This method worked fairly well. At least until I got onto busy roads where leaving the sidewalk was no longer an option. Then it was a matter of looking for safe spots, running on the snow covered grass or slowing to a walk to get through icy patches.

But like I always say, a day you get to run is always a good day. The crunching of the ice and snow under my feet seemed to make the time fly, and I made it around the loop without falling.

And the biggest plus of all, we made it by the Mayan deadline without vaporizing.

So tomorrow, if you see the world's slowest human out running, give me a wave -- it's almost Christmas, you know!

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