Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Let it snow!

Just back from my second run of the week. Neither has been very far, and neither has been very fast, but both were through about a foot of snow and both were absolutely brilliant.

There's been a lot of snow in Edinburgh this week. It started on Friday night and has been pretty consistent since then, laying a lot of the white stuff across the city. The roads are a disaster - our car has been immobile for days, and very few people have bothered even trying to drive on the icy cobbles. Buses are delayed, diverted and cancelled. Cyclists are foiled from the get-go. The roads are practically deserted.

This is running territory.

I love running in the snow. The icy bits of the road are mad and unpredictable, the deep snow is crunchy and grippy, and the slush is a hilarious obstacle course. I chose a ridiculously hilly route to make things even more interesting. Leaning in to the hills and gripping with my toes on the uphills was fun, but slipping down the icy descents with one hand hovering near the railings was absolutely brilliant. I managed to avoid losing it completely, but had a few near misses. Exhilarating doesn't cover it. I've run out of superlatives.

The hill up to work this morning. 
There are one or two downsides to running in freezing conditions. It's -2C out there, so I've had to give in to wearing extremely uncool running leggings, much to my displeasure. I'd rather just be in shorts, but if I do slip over on an icy patch then I don't want to risk losing all the skin on my legs to grit and other nasties. I've also had to wrap up in a baselayer, shorts, hi-vis jacket, gloves, hat, headtorch and reflective bands. But ordinary socks and ordinary trainers. Because I don't own anything else.

I particularly enjoyed running at full out-of-control downhill sprint past several groups of wellington-booted pedestrians swaddled in heavy coats and wrapped in scarves - I recommend sneaking a glance at their shocked and appalled faces. I only regret missing out on their reactions were I wearing shorts... Once or twice I exchanged knowing looks with other runners out tonight. There was no self-congratulation or smugness in this look - all it said was: 'Screw the snow. There's running to be done.'

Enjoy the snow - go lace up your trainers!


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