Running

…And Then It Snowed, Like Never Before

So that whole pouring rain thing? It stopped. And then it turned to snow, and it has been snowing unlike I have never seen it snow before since Monday morning.

At 7am, we had approximately one half beagle of snow.

Like, we’re talking feet of snow, with gusts of wind, and whiteout conditions, and I’m currently home alone with the stir crazy dogs because Alex got stuck in Kings Beach since every road is shut, and the power keeps flickering. It’s eerie. Like, scene from a murder mystery where it’s a dark and stormy night, and the guy with the claw for the hand scrapes through the hood of the car kind of eerie. Luckily, I stocked up on things necessary to have while being on a mountain: wine, (more) cough meds and ice cream… so this whole trapped in a blizzard thing is totally fine.

And into the woods I go…

Anyway, while it was daylight today, I did break out of the house for more than a dog romp. I (somewhat rashly) signed up for (at least) three races this spring: a 50K in early March, Boston in mid-April, and a 100K in late April. It was/is silly, particularly given my lack of logical thought processing that oh, hey, running in blizzards might be a bit challenging; but alas, it is happening (because I said so), and thanks to my ‘in it to win it’ racing mentality, it is really happening. After spending some time trying to piece together my own training schedule, I finally decided to reach out to one of the main trail running coaches up here to see what he could do. I figured if nothing else, it would let me meet a few more running friends in the area, possibly save me from overtraining and doing stupid, spontaneous runs, and show me some new places to go here (because there is so much to cover, and I have no idea where to even begin). I started in earnest last week and am still in ‘base building’ mode, but all is well thus far.

My prescribed run today was actually a snowshoe, which despite my failed attempt last week and due to a few very unsuccessful runs on compacted snow that is like stepping in sinkholes, I have been itching to try. A fellow runner up here who I’d met in SF in September and lives in my neighborhood also happened to have the same workout scheduled, so he offered up an extra pair of shoes, and we spent an hour or so trudging through knee-to-waist deep snow in the backyard.

Taking advantage of Kane & Winnie’s tracks.

It was awesome.

A non-waist deep moment.

I was totally out of breath a few minutes in – walking in snow is hard, and wearing giant baskets on your feet does definitely help the whole process… but even without ‘running’, it was far more of a workout than an easy jog on the roads. There was also something deeply satisfying about trekking through a silent, untouched forest while snow drifts quietly through the sky… I finally (almost) know those trails, but it was like being in an alien landscape miles from my door.

Major kudos to Winnie the lab, however, who completed the entire thing like a champ. Maybe Sno-tis can come along next time…

I have a feeling I might be doing a lot more of that though over the next few months, particularly if this whole Pineapple Express thing continues to sweep across the Sierras with such a vengeance.

By the time I took the dogs out at 5pm, we had another solid foot.

At 5pm, we had at least three beagles of snow.

Anyway. I can’t really get over how much snow there is, but until it stops, let’s take a moment and cross fingers that in the meantime:

  1. I don’t run out of essential life things.
  2. Alex makes it back tonight.
  3. I don’t do something really stupid, like slice another large, excessively bleeding gash in my finger while it is impossible to get anywhere (… that might have happened this afternoon. I might have had an ‘I am going to pass out because there is now a very large laceration in my hand because I cut a bagel wrong’ moment. Oops.)
  4. The power stays on (… or maybe not).
  5. The mountains reopen by Friday, so I can take some advantage of this fluffiness before hanging out on the Big Easy all weekend.
  6. People are actually safe and okay, because despite my lightheartedness, this is actually kind of a BFD up here.
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