winter running. yay.

Tonight at the nursery school swim party fundraiser (I'm sure that was the actual name. The fliers were rolled scrolls that were sent home with all the parents) I was talking to another woman who runs sometimes. I actually think the conversation started with where to buy nice shapely sports bras and ended with something like "Oh yeah, I run outside all the time, it's super fun and nobody who is a runner would ever consider bitching about winter, and all you really need is running shoes, and it's not even slippery and seriously, you're a total jerk for not running outside."

And I was all like, well shit, if she can do it I can probably maybe consider doing it.

Then I got home and the weather was beautiful and I wondered just how slippery the streets really were. Steven was a few minutes behind me in his truck, and I was in the driveway with a van load of kids who should have been in bed an hour or so earlier, but why wouldn't I run to the stop sign and back, just to test out the road conditions?

"What are you doing Mommy?" the minions asked upon watching me jog (race? run? marathon?) from the driveway to the end of the street a few times.

"What does it look like I'm doing?" came the motherly, ultra-mature reply. "I'm running!"

"We can run too!" They all chimed excitedly. "Can we? Can we run with you?"

"Sure, what the heck," I said. "Run to that street light and back." All four of them took off town the street, in time for Steven to come home and wonder why all the little heathens were running amok at what (once the clocks were turned ahead) would soon be 11 o'clock.

"What does it look like they're doing?" I responded to his puzzled question. "They're running. Obviously."

"Well okay." This kind of thing is somewhat unsurprising in our house.

We chased them all in, and wrestled them into their pajamas and beds, and I contemplated going for a short run, just up to the crescent road 4-way and back, which would only be about three miles.

Finally, at 10pm I laced up my shoes and headed out.

And about a mile in I finally admitted it was absolutely stupid to be running in the middle of the bloody night through mountains of snow. Oh yeah, it's a challenge, oh yeah, it's super fun. Oh yeah I almost got run over. Okay, maybe I didn't almost get run over, probably because I actually saw the car coming and wasn't actually going to run out in front if it, but being that its driver slammed on the brakes and slid around a little, someone thought I almost got ran over.

Running along the rutty, "there's a path because people always walk in the same footprints" sidewalk was awesome, and switching to the road where there was no shoulder because of mountains of snow was even awesomer, and then switching back to the sidewalk when I was sure it was going to be better a block later was even awesomer still!

I'm sure it was a great work out. I know this, because a mile in I was sweating buckets and my calves burned. Probably because I'm not a polar bear, and as such, am not accustomed to running through snowbanks. It was fantastic.

I got to the four-way stop. My options were to turn back the way I came, or head over the overpass, because I had taken note of it earlier that day and it seemed like that sidewalk was somewhat cleared.

I went with the overpass.

Turns out the only thing more fun than running through snowbanks and ice is doing it uphill.

I have a confession. I sometimes swear when I run. Out loud. Usually it's when I've decided to run further or faster and in the last mile or two I start to peter out and get a little annoyed that it's taking as long as it is and then I practice the fun words.

This also happens in mile three after two miles of snowbank and I'm now doing this ridiculousness on the overpass. I may have slowed down halfway up to return a couple of texts. It was very therapeutic.

Anyway. I will continue to make peace with the blasted treadmill and the running track until the streets of Portage are slightly less assholic. Just so you know.


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