I detest winter. You can tell me, “But this has been the mildest winter ever!” I don’t care; it’s still winter. Give me warm sun on bare shoulders and sweat pouring down my
back butt crack face over snotsicles and frozen fingers any day.
But… there is something about running in the snow. Quiet trail runs become pleasantly noisy with the ‘whump whump whump’ of your feet crushing new snow. Paths you’ve run a million times before seem different as you create your own trail, feeling like the first man on the moon. Normally invisible animal tracks appear, giving you a glimpse into the forgotten traffic of the trail. (Why do I never actually spot the buggers?) Not to mention feeling especially awesome knowing the majority of runners are pounding out their miles on treadmills to escape the weather.
And as much as I can revel in the introspection encouraged by forging a new path through a clean blanket of snow, it also has practical training benefits. Like most runners, I drag my feet when fatigued (or just plain lazy). Running in a few inches of snow makes me more aware of keeping my knees high, therefore a more efficient and upright form. This gets tougher as water-logged shoes get heavier, but I’d imagine that can be a benefit as well.
I’m still going to whine and shake my fist at the perpetually cloudy sky over the next few months, but if there’s fresh snow you can find me tromping through the woods.