Monday, March 4, 2013

Time To Get Back Out On The Streets

March 4, 2013

Today I am 198.6 pound of rolling thunder.

Wow, what a difference a week away from running can make, and boy am I glad to be back out on the roads even if I am the world's slowest human.

No matter how many miles you spin on a stationary bike or shushes you make on the NordicTrack, a basement workout just isn't the same as running on the streets. Sure it's good to get your heart rate up and your body moving, but you just don't seem to get that same deep-down sweat riding the stationary bike that you do when you run outside.

In the past week and a half we've had more than 25 inches of snow. The snowplows have done a great job of moving the snow off the roads and depositing the drifts onto the neighborhood sidewalks. As a result, today's run was more of an adventure than a flat out job.

While I don't mind running in the road, I'd much rather be on the safe confines of the sidewalk. Most motorists are polite about yielding to an oncoming pedestrian who has been forced to take to the asphalt since the sidewalks are knee deep in snow. Still, the deposits of plowed snow along the edges of the road make passing narrow and tests the patience of motorists.

My neighborhood requires homeowners to shovel their sidewalks. Unfortunately, this was the first day for enforcement, and I can't really blame most people for not getting out and making the effort. The snow on most sidewalks is still at least a foot deep in many locations.

As a result, today's run took on an obstacle course quality. I'd for a long stretch on open road, then skip to the sidewalk or duck into a side road to let traffic pass. The result was kind of a stop and start adventure, but I was glad the skies were sunny and the temperature was mild.

When I finally made it to the last hill of my run, it came on a busy street so I was constantly on the lookout for sidewalks to escape onto. Perhaps the most interesting part was running through the narrow paths that had been cut through drifts that were piled nearly 3-feet deep. It was how I imagine an average winter run in snowy Minnesota or Buffalo might be.

Still, it was great to get out of the basement and back on the open road. It sounds like the weather is finally starting to make its turn toward spring, so temperatures should go up and the snow down.

Snow or no snow, if you see the world's slowest human out running, give me a wave.

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