Sunday, December 4, 2011

Changing Seasons - And Obvious Analogies

Okay, the title was just to draw you in, pique your interest and make you question if I would propound on analogies involving life lessons and secret BBQ tips.  Keep reading, but prepare for disappointment...

I enjoy the potentially short season I affectionately call "between DST and THE SNOW".  For those in exotic southern locales, such as St. Catherines, you might not realize that Creemore can have very nasty snow-filled time periods normally referred to as weeks, with serious accumulations of snow.  These periods (let's call them "weeks") can dump 1 - 2 feet of snow and are a gentle reminder that winter is on the way, and in a few short days, running trails becomes a distant memory.

Running trails, with impending or snow present, in the dark, can be quite invigorating!  There is something other-worldly about running a familiar trail in the dark.  I like the thrill of the heightened tracking requirements, or becoming lost on a trail I can normally run with my eyes closed.  This is a bit hypothetical; running the trails and cliffs near the Mad river with your eyes closed is not generally encouraged.  Unless you enjoy really cold and wet swan dive-style face plants.

This year and last year are wonderful examples of a DST-to-snow season wherein I could steal precious time on the trails due to warmer than normal weather.  Last year, we even organized a 100 miler at the end on November, and definitely had luck on our side.  I think we caught the elements off guard, as they did not expect anyone to be rash enough to run for 15 hours in darkness!  A 100 miler in Creemore at the end of November would normally be considered a bid to increase the cemetery population...

So I am enjoying these weeks, careening along darkened trails (note:  "Careening" this year is a euphemism for my pathetic limping gait, but in the dark it feels like you are flying!) gauging how close the coyote packs are to my position and struggling to remain upright.  Too soon THE SNOW will make running trails nearly impossible.  Then what?

On Saturday, February 4, 2012 you are invited to join (let's be nice, here) some adventurous souls in the Creemore Snow Run.  This is not a race, but a fun run in which we see how long and how far we can run in the depth of winter.  Most consider it good training for the plethora of hyperventilation events (nope, I can't think of any), or a wonderful way to chase away the winter blues.  As in, your face turns blue from lack of oxygen...  The run starts at 09:00, which brings up the tactical aspects of this event.  Some will be starting early, to truly appreciate the challenge of being first (possibly only) to pack deep snow, at a run.  Others will be "unavoidably" late, and wait for the not-so-bright to pack the trails for them.  At the end of the day, those who arrived late are chagrined as they missed the challenge of packing the snow (I didn't say this is an honest blog) and those who started early question their sanity...

Although I have yet to think of an analogy for running and the changing seasons, winter running provides different challenges and logistics.  How to keep water from freezing, which roads are plowed, but not icy and whether a rum toddy or a black russian will thaw your frozen face faster.  Say that 3 times after a 3 hour winter run!

So stay on the trails until the last possible moment, then join us in Creemore for some seriously stupid and dangerous winter running.  Oh!  And the bragging rights and a finisher medal that proves you conquered the Creemore Snow Run!

PS  I'm off to see the doctor tomorrow for a look at my knee.  I am running very short (5 - 7K) every other day.  Any more and I can't walk the next day.

1 comment:

  1. Been really enjoying the DST-to-snow season but I think its quickly coming to a close. One truly great thing about running Creemore in the Snow is not requiring rope assist due to wonderful footing in the deep snow …much easier to traverse in the winter. I am thinking of a possible double header. Creemore is sort of enroute to Blue so I hope to pack my Skis and hit the slopes after, anyone care to join me?