Power Run

Well hello there. Long time, no blog. Not sure why, to tell you the truth. So let’s get back at it.

running shoesI went for an awesome run tonight. A nice 9km in the sunshine. Right on track for my training for the Blue Nose half marathon in May.

Now, if you know where I live, you’ll know running outdoors is a challenge these days. Nova Scotia and neighbouring provinces have been walloped by storm after storm this winter. One of them involved wildly fluctuating temperatures, so it turned on a dime from downpour to flash freeze. Pavement disappeared under inches of ice. Slushy footsteps frozen on sidewalks made walking treacherous. I wasn’t about to risk almost certain injury by running on that.

In fact, I never thought I’d run in winter at all. Which is funny because I like cool weather for running. My ideal seasons are early spring and mid to late fall. Somewhere around 8 degrees celsius is perfect. Double digits quickly become too warm for me.

But I’ve always watched winter runners in all their cold weather gear, pounding through frigid messes, and thought they looked so uncomfortable. I imagined how cold their feet must be in running shoes that provide little protection in a slush puddle.

Path bravely forged by one of my neighbours from the back door...the only door of the building that could be opened.
Path from the back door bravely forged by one of my neighbours. This was the only door of the building that could be opened until I dug out a 30′ trench from the parking lot to liberate the front door.

And yet there I was tonight, on the first day of spring – hah! – happily trotting through tunnels created by the bobcat snow-clearing machines after the latest storm dumped about 90 cm on Halifax. The bobcats leave a couple of inches of snow but it was certainly passable with caution. The few times I felt the unexpected ick of ice cold water through my shoes, it quickly went away thanks to wool socks.

As I trotted along to Enid, I remembered times spent with my best friend Nat in her dorm room in university listening to the Gordon CD. I smiled and thought, “If only my 21-year-old self could see me now.” I’d like to think she’d avoid some of my mistakes, and also find some of my newer joys earlier.

Ah, that’s not how life works, is it. But here is one little nugget of wisdom about how it does work. A nugget I have known in theory for some time but only just internalized this winter: You are what you give power to.

You can’t swing a shovel around here without hearing someone gripe about the lousy winter. But not me. I’m not caught up in the negativity, and it’s really not hard to resist.

Another snowstorm? Excellent day to make cookies, get some school work done, and nap with the cat! Need to shovel again? Great exercise in the fresh air followed by well-earned hot chocolate with Bailey’s! Another storm coming tomorrow? Do this weekend’s training run early, then foam roller with Netflix while the storm rages!

There are far worse things than some snow, boys and girls. We are Canadian. Embrace our natural habitat. Give power to the joys of hunkering down safe and cozy during the storm. Give power to gratitude that you have good health and a warm coat to do what you gotta do outdoors. I guarantee it’ll lift the weight right off your shovel.


ps – If you’re looking for a food connection, there isn’t really one. All I’ve got for you is this: I had an awesome nosh of spaghetti and meatballs after my run tonight. I made the meatballs during the last storm.


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