It’s early for the first snow. If the Seattle area is going to get snow it tends not to hit until the January/February time period. And usually it is short-lived. When I woke this morning, I discovered that there was a sprinkling of snow on the rooftops and the lawn. Usually, I am like a schoolgirl at the sighting of the first snowflake. I have been known to dart out the door, without coat or shoes just to tip my head to the sky and watch as the snowflakes caress my cheeks, melt on my tongue and remind me of the miracle of nature.
But this morning I had planned on doing my last training run in preparation for the Seattle Half Marathon next week. I had twelve miles plotted out on a rather hilly route. Snow complicated things. I have almost rehabilitated my left adductor muscle and the thought of slipping haphazardly as I ran was not generating great enthusiasm. I rationalized that it was still early and I would wait until the morning warmed up and the dusting of snow would melt away and leave less treacherous running conditions. Once I start to procrastinate a planned run, it tends to continue throughout the day unless I take some immediate action. I changed into my winter running tights and put on my Vancouver Olympics training shell. I taped my left MTP joint and found my favorite SmartWool socks. By noon, the conditions had not improved. The snow had begun to fall again, not tentatively but with purpose. If I did not go now, I knew it would not happen. I set my “Crazy” inspired playlist to shuffle, which seemed fully appropriate for the conditions, donned a layer of fleece and a pair of lightweight gloves and headed out the front door.
The difference between snow and rain is that rain is wet the moment it hits you. Snow is light and it lingers for a moment: on your eyelashes, your sleeve, your nose, and by the time it hits the ground or your shoe it has often evaporated, it may be cold, but it is not as wet as rain. I savored the light tickle on my face and I kept one foot in front of the other. It’s amazing how hot fleece can get with a little friction. By mile six, I was peeling layers, finding a place to stow my gloves while still avoiding the wet spots on the ground to keep my feet dry. At mile ten, as I huffed and puffed up the last of the 800 foot climb, I had no idea if it was still snowing or hailing or otherwise. I was focused on making it to mile twelve, and the lyrics on my iPod singing, “I’m a Basket Case, a Basket Case . . .” As I turned the corner for home and hit mile twelve, I had an urge to belt out “Let it Snow” and started to wonder what kind of playlist I could curate with the theme of snow?