Winter Wonderland Run

Yesterday Pittsburgh got its first snowfall. We only had about 6 inches but the roads were bad enough that neither me nor my friend wanted to drive to yoga so I curled up on the couch to watch the snowflakes fall from the sky. My running partner’s daughter once said that when it snows it means the clouds are falling in love. Looking out at the Grey Lady (Pittsburgh’s nickname) dressed in a beautiful white gown, I wanted to dance with her. I bundled up since it was a frigid 15 degrees, left my watch at home and went out for a run.

When I opened the side door to my building, I actually gasped. It was so beautiful. In my hometown of Potomac, Maryland, we so rarely got snow (this weekend being an obvious exception). I felt like a kid and wanted to play. Cars were slipping and none of the sidewalks were treated but I love how snow makes everything seem so quiet while magnifying the crunching noises…. Crunch, crunch, crunch, my footsteps tapped out an icy rhythm. A lone runner in a snow storm.

Pretty snow-covered wreath on Fifth Avenue

Panther on the bridge between Panther Hollow and Phipps Conservatory

Schenley Park, neither the sidewalks nor roads were treated

Finding my footing was tricky because the snow was slippery and where there had been pedestrian traffic the deep footprints made footing uneven. It was harder than running on trails but the novelty of snowy running after a three season hiatus made me enjoy it. I went to some of my favorite trails that aren’t very technical, but became challenging with the uneven footing. After stopping to take a picture I realized that I should shift the playlist on my iPod from my “chill” playlist (Bedouin Soundclash, Jack Johnson and Citizen Cope) to Christmas carols (I have like 500 thanks to my college roommates who started listening to Christmas carols when we would have our annual last day of September party). I ran alone on trails under a canopy of trees listening to my favorite Christmas song, Carol of the Bells, and laughing when ridiculous songs came on that reminded me of my friends from college (does anyone know Dominic the Christmas Donkey other than Emily?).

The chill/Christmas mix transition point.

Same place as above this Fall, with slightly narrower cropping

Light post and wreath at Phipps Conservatory

It’s wasn’t all crisp and beautiful running. About two miles from home my fingers started to get cold and painful and I started to get a little cranky. My eyes were watering and my nose was running and when I finally stopped, snow had frosted my eyebrows.

Frozen. So cold.

Whenever I finish workouts I drink chocolate soy milk as a recovery drink and yesterday I was so cold that I made hot chocolate and took it into the shower with me so I could get some protein and carbs while trying to warm up. I know that I’ll have more snowy runs this season and I hope that I can maintain my sense of wonder and awe at the beauty of winter.