Being a native New Englander, the first snow is something that I've looked forward to every year since I can remember...it always makes me feel like a kid again.

I went out for my weekly long run yesterday on a quiet out-and-back route that takes me by a local pond. There was a decent chop on the pond and it wasn't even frozen over yet. I watched a few ducks diving below the surface and then popping back up into their ripples a few second later. It was a bit windy but overall a quiet December day with the occasional snowflake that would meander out of the sky and land in my eye...always in my freaking eye. I can just see myself now, running next to traffic with my face all contorted into some sort of demented wink to try and melt the snowflake on my cornea. I no longer wonder why passing motorists give me weird looks...though maybe it's the tights.

Anyway, I cruised through the first half of the run without much of a problem through the turn around point. I passed one other runner in too much pink and she let out a quick "hello" between breaths...I smiled and waved. Most runners are a friendly folks and will acknowledge you unless they're in the midst of a full-on tempo run or sprint. I stopped at the end of the path to check my watch and catch my breath for a moment before turning around. Being the friendly runner that I am, I said "good morning" to the lady crossing the street with her yellow lab. She gave me a look of disgust/"why-the-fuck-did-you-just-acknowledge-me" that is quite prevalent in the greater NY area and continued right by me as I tried to get the tightness out of my left calf and get enough oxygen into my brain to calculate my splits (8:29/mi).

All of a sudden I was hit by a C-O-L-D gust of wind and I looked up to see a wall of white absolutely flying down the hill in front of me. I thought to myself, I've never seen a snow squall come out of nowhere like this one.

The white wall enveloped me and I decided that I should get on my way. I felt like the care-free seven-year-old version of me again as I cruised along the path next to the pond, squinting my eyes to keep the snow out and leaving my footprints in the accumulating dust on the path. For those of you that have never experienced a snowfall, the sound of it is amazing. There's a background of white noise from innumerable snowflakes hitting anything in their path, and a muffled quality to the rest of the sounds that you'd normally expect. It's absolutely other-worldly.

I passed the lady with her lab in silence, as is my NY-bound cultural duty, and continued home in the snow with only the syncopated rhythm of my breathing and footfalls to keep me company.


Albinoblackbear said...

I like to give the peace sign to passing joggers (that is a silent "j"). Especially in inclement weather when you make eye contact and they know that you know that they know you are hard core. :)

Running in the winter, especially in the snow, rocks. I went for a run yesterday here in the tropics and was missing seeing my breath and hearing the crunch. Instead I felt the oppressive humidity crushing my will to live. I think my pace was 12/mile also. Which was awesome.

Anonymous said...

Excellent description of snowfall. I felt myself there and you nailed it perfectly!