Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snow and ice, yet I managed to stay upright!

About 12 inches of snow fell here between Friday night and Saturday morning. It was our first measureable snow and time to break out the snow shovels. Thankfully, it was the light, fluffy type and not the heavy, wet stuff. I had a difficult time gripping the handle of the shovel with my splinted, dislocated finger as it was. Trying to lift a heavy load would have been a real chore.

After two hours shoveling and cleaning off the cars I when for a short run around the neighborhood. It was 13 degrees and the wind was howling but I’ve run so little in the past three weeks that I didn’t want to miss another day because of the weather. I dressed for the conditions and laced up my screw shoes. This would be my first run in the screw shoes and I was anxious to see how then worked. It wouldn’t take long to see if these things had any grip as I live on hill. I can only hope so!

Heading from my front door I heard the clicking sound of the screw heads on the porch stairs and the freshly cleared sidewalk. I stepped onto the street, covered with a hard-packed snow and began my run. The shoes gripped well descending the hill so I felt confident about doing the rest of the run. When I hit some patches of loose snow along the run the shoes did not work as well as I hoped. There was a lot of slipping during toe-off. I will modify the screw pattern up front to see if that improves the grip.

During my run I was approached by a woman walking a dog. When we were close she said to me, “And I thought I was crazy for walking my dog! Enjoy your run.” Hey, this is New England. If I only ran in good weather I would be skipping a lot of days for sure. I went happily along my way enjoying the frigid air and the crunching of snow under my feet.

When I got to one of the main streets that runs though town all I could see was blacktop. The side streets were covered with a nice layer of hard-packed snow but this street was cleared down to the pavement. I haven’t been able to do any street running without suffering with PF symptoms. I thought the snow would provide enough cushioning to prevent my PF from acting up (again) but this pavement was a little unexpected. There was no way to avoid it but I cut off to another side street as soon I could.

This street brought me to the middle school where I sometimes run on the synthetic track. I considered running a couple of miles here but when I saw the depth of the snow, and felt the ferocity of the wind whipping across the open field, I changed my mind. Instead, I ran a few laps around the middle school parking lot. It was covered with snow and ice and was a good test for my shoes. The shoes really excelled on the ice as the screw head held my shoe firmly in place all the way though toe-off.

After three laps around the school I headed for home. I had an event to attend and didn’t have much time to spare for a shower and a change of clothing. I managed to squeeze in three miles in 30:36. It seems a little foolish to spend so much time dressing for sub-freezing temperatures for a run on snow and ice covered roads, only to run for 30 minutes, but this is what we runners do. Yes, we are a crazy lot indeed!

Be safe….


  1. Hey Dan,
    I, too, went for a run yesterday - it really was a beautiful day!
    Have you ever tried wearing Yaks? A friend of mine wore them yesterday and had a very easy time on hills. She said they were very comfortable and did not change her running style/stride.
    Happy running! Ana

  2. Hey dan,

    I was out in that snow Saturday morning also. I ran a bit on the road and then hit a fresh snow covered trail. I wore ice grippers that are similar to Yaks and they worked very well on the packed snow of the roads but not quite as well in the 8" of powder in the trails. The one thing I like about these is that if I came across clean tar, I could remove them but not if I had screws.


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