This has been one of the most brutal winters in Nebraska history in quite some time. And, while I have been known to exaggerate for effect from time to time, this is no exaggeration. We’ve broken all kinds of records, like having snow on the ground for a ridiculous amount of days, and having four blizzards in one winter season. But of course we have all persevered like the good Midwesterners we are. I have gotten through it with visions of running outside on my brain…
So when I signed up for a May 2nd half-marathon a few weeks ago, I told myself I had until March to start running outside. Well, February was (surprise!) really cold and all that stinkin’ snow didn’t go away, so I wasn’t sure how well it would work out. But then along came March 1 in like a lion with a sunny almost-40-degree day and I found myself layering up and heading out for my first outdoor run of the year. Since taking my dog for walks around the neighborhood involves leaping over some snow banks, I went to a nearby lake path where I had seen people running recently, so I assumed the path was clear of snow and ice.
I was about 70% right. The other 30% of the trail was covered in either packed snow, thin ice, slushy mess, or puddles. I did my best to go around those areas and was very very careful. I completed my 4 miles without any incidents and only one slightly damp shoe from a puddle I couldn’t avoid.
It was fun in an adventurey sort of way, but I’m not sure I’ll be running outside again until more melting happens. I spent most of my run either scared of falling or scared of stepping in a big puddle and running in a wet, cold sock. Luckily the 10-day forecast is all above freezing so hopefully by next weekend I’ll be ready to head out on a 100% dry run!