Sunday, November 4, 2007
Running in the snow
So I've decided if winter refuses to come to us in Anchorage, we'll just have to start going out to find it. Niko and I headed up into the foothills of Anchorage yesterday to run in the snow. The intent was to try and climb Near Point, but we ended up getting lost in the network of trails that leave from the Prospect Heights trailhead. I never had so much fun getting lost.
We made the drive up to Prospect Heights Saturday morning. As we neared the trailhead, their was a light dusting of snow on the roads, that eventually turned into two inches, then six. Niko saw the snow from the front seat of my car and could not contain himself. I had a similar reaction. I think I have myself a little sled dog here.
When we started out on the trail I had forgotten how difficult it can be to run in the snow. At first it feels like an immense effort to even propel yourself forward. Your feet slip and your legs use up a ton of energy for balance. Your body is trying to warm up, so you are burning twice as many calories as normal and your muscles are working hard. I was huffing and puffing within the first mile. Niko was running full speed back and forth on the trail.
I pushed myself to get through the first couple of miles, eventually getting into the zone. Then I remembered how I love to run in the snow. When it snows and I go outside, even to just get into my car, I run. When I come out of the grocery store and it is snowing, I run to the car. I think it is something that is ingrained into me from childhood. Like when we had a big snowstorm back in Pennsylvania and all I wanted to do was go outside and run and play in it, but I always had to wait for something. Wait until mom put my coat on, then my gloves... "Now can I go?"... "No, don't forget your hat." ... "Now?" So when she would finally unleash me out into the snow covered lawn, all I could do was run.
Niko is the same way. I keep him on the leash until we get away from the cars in the parking lot. He is whimpering and jumping up and down and looking up at me as if to say, "Now? Now, can I go?" When I finally let him off the leash he takes off down the trail and he is at his happiest. I get it Niko, I totally get it.