Saturday, December 29, 2012

Runner vs. Plow Truck ...and I lived to tell the tale

Have you ever had one of those days when the last thing you want to do is run?
...and then all of a sudden one things changes
and you're a kid again and want to run forever?
Today was one of those days!!

Yesterday, I got a text from one of my runners. 

"Is tomorrow's run still on?"

That made me wonder what would cause it to not be on.  Through the amazing speed of Google, I discovered the impending doom that was Winter Storm Freyr.  Connecticut was supposed to be hit with 3-6 inches starting at some point in the mid-morning through early Sunday.  Holy Shnikes!  Alert the Reserves!!  haha

"Yes.  We're still on."

At 8am, we met up and due to the generosity of a local trailer walker, got our 10 miles in. 

Still getting used to this Panoramic function on the camera.

The trail spans over 30 miles and apparently the state does not clear the trail for snow.  I guess I can't blame them.  But one of the locals who regularly walks a portion of the trail took his truck and plowed 1.8 miles of it.  We may not have been able to go five miles out, five miles back, but we made three rounds of the cleared path and even ran into the gentlemen responsible for the cleared path.  Such a nice thing to do!!

9am running photo-op

My plan was for 20 miles, but only 7  miles into our morning run, I already needed to use the bathroom.  So I decided to attempt the last 10 from home.  But before we left the trail, my runner pulled out something I never knew existed, a New Year's Gift.  Now, we all know of Christmas gifts, but who has ever heard of gifts for New Years?!  I could not believe it.  He had gotten me a Ronhill Vizion Windlite Jacket and a Ronhill Vizion L.E.D.

I'll admit that I was not too thrilled at the prospect of another 10 miles.  I got home, had some chocolate milk, took a shower to warm up and laid down to rest a bit.  That turned into a couple hours of sleep. 

With 20 miles today, I'd be less than 3 miles from a 40 mile week.  I decided to attempt as many miles as I could in what was left of the day.  I checked the weather and the storm was just starting!  All of a sudden, an adventure had presented itself.  I could make a trip up to Fleet Feet to get a clip for my phone.  If I did that, I would get in at least 8 miles.  But oh the fun a winter storm run can be!!

I headed out in my new bright orange wind breaker jacket, my new L.E.D. light, and an excitement that did not exist in any moment earlier in the day. 

...like a kid on Christmas.

As an additive to the adventure run, I even took music along.  I have not run with music in over two years.  Why, I cannot be certain anymore.  Man did Freyr cause a complete turn around. 

I headed out and it was fun from the absolute start!  Four miles in, I stopped at Fleet Feet to get a clip for the camera.  Now I can run with it without worrying about the strap slipping off my wrist.  Then I headed out to the 11 mile trip turn around. 

The sidewalks were all covered with snow.
On the way back, I passed a very simply landscaped/decorated house, but could not help myself from taking a picture.  Gorgeous, right?

Still needs a wrap around porch though.  Just sayin!

I also decided to make a trip around one rather long block to see if I could break the 40 mile mark.  Going on 12 miles and I could not remember a run I felt better on!  Why not top off the weekly goal while I'm already out having a blast?!



Then came the plow truck.

The final 0.5 miles from my apartment has a sidewalk on one side of the road, but that sidewalk ends higher up than that road and in the winter, it's a rather slippery trip down to the road at the end.  So I always run on the road instead.  Unfortunately, due to the snow storm, the side of the road was covered with snow.  I made it half way down the road and around the turn came one of those giant orange plow trucks shooting up snow well onto the grass off the road.  I quickly looked back and saw there's traffic coming in the opposite direction, so I couldn't jump across the street.  I prayed the driver would see my flashing LED and started waving my arms above my head.  I knew he had seen me when the truck began to swerve.  The back end went left and then swung right.  "Oh SHIT!  He's gonna' swing around and cause an accident.  I've caused an accident!"  There was nothing I could do.  I'm not about to go stop an out-of-control plow truck!  I jumped up onto the curb and watched as the truck swerved.  Luckily it was all over in a matter of 2 seconds.  The truck regained control and moved slightly further out into traffic as he passed.  I waved thanks to him and he honked his horn.  I'm sure he probably swore to himself at the same time - "Stupid people running in the road during a snow storm!" 

I'm sorry.  Freyr has not been a storm.  Snow falling down ever so slowly like a winter wonderland is nowhere near storm worthy. 

Anyways...  I hopped back out onto the road, made the final 30 second run to the apartment and breathed a sigh of relief.  I had stared a plow truck in the eye and almost toppled it.  Take that giant machine!!  If The Matrix ever comes to be real, I am ready!

I made it a total of 12.44 miles on my adventure run.  That put me at 22.44 miles for the day and currently 40.21 for the week.  I had planned to finish the 40 miles tomorrow, but now that I got them in early, I think I'll rest tomorrow. 

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Questions
1.  What kind of run rejuvenates your love for running?
Any type of adventure or challenge gives me an extra boost of excitement.  

2.  It's snowing like a winter wonderland.  Do you A) lock the door, make hot cocoa, and queue up Netflix, B) call your friends to come pick you up because you won't drive in that weather but refuse to be hampered by insistent Mother Nature, or C) cancel all your previous plans because you HAVE to go running!
Obviously, I went with option C today, but if it's still snowing tomorrow, I'm going to opt for A.  Any good movie suggestions?

3.  What winter running gloves do you use?  
I currently use Pearl Izumi Shine Mitt Gloves and they are NOT holding up to the longer runs.  My left thumb is still somewhat numb and I've been warmed up for hours now. 


Dream.  Believe.  Achieve. 

3 comments:

Sue's Ramblings said...

Coming back from an injury so all runs are without expectation on pace, distance etc...so far, it's been great. Looks like you're all set up for finishing a fantastic year on the running miles. Happy Holidays!

SupermomE12 said...

Oh man - I got attacked by a snow plow last year! He definitely saw my friend and I - we had on reflective vests and gear, headlamps, etc. We saw him coming for a long way, there was no other traffic, etc. so we assumed he would scoot over, pick up his blade, etc. By the time we realized he wasn't going to, we only had time to run off into the ditch along the side of the highway and cover our heads. We got PELTED and it hurt so bad! I had welts across my legs from getting sandblasted. He was definitely not a fan of runners!! Glad your encounter turned out ok and you had such a good run otherwise. Check out these Brooks mittens. Nice and toasty warm! http://www.brooksrunning.com/Wanganui-Cabrio-Mitten/280010,default,pd.html

ajh said...

The snowy runs I have been doing this past week are absolutely rejuvenating my love for running which was NOT there.