I was maybe half-way into Sunday’s run when I remembered something: winter running socks do not keep your feet warm once they are soaked from running through slush.
Winter came to much of the northeast between Saturday and Sunday. The Mohawk Valley did not get hit as badly as other areas, but we got some. Still, it did not seem terrible to me when I got up shortly before six. There was snow on the back lawn but not an inordinate amount. After a cup of coffee I thought I might take a run.
The sun was not all the way up, or maybe it was the clouds making it seem that way, so I decided to wear my road guard vest (it is a reflective vest, I suppose, but in the Army we called them road guard vests). I sometimes wonder about wearing the vest when I run on the sidewalk — am I being overly cautious and look like a big geek (which I guess I am but you don’t have to rub it in). However, I also had it in mind to run up the hill to Herkimer College (previously known as HCCC), where there is no sidewalk.
Steven approved of my wearing the vest, “Because it’s still snowing.”
“It is?” It was hard to tell in the dim light. I don’t usually run through precipitation, but I already had my warm running gear on — leggings, long-sleeved ARMY t-shirt, winter running socks, hat and mittens. The vest added another layer.
Almost as soon as I started out, I abandoned the sidewalk for the road so did not have to worry about looking overly cautious. I wasn’t sure the road would be a whole lot less slippery, though. I felt even more worried when I turned onto German Street. There is generally more traffic on German so I knew I might have to get right over to the curb. There were some major puddles by the curb and not a little ice. Damn! Luckily there wasn’t much traffic. I made it to Lou Ambers Drive without mishap.
As I ran I debated whether I would actually run up to the college. I had settled for the hill by Valley Health on Saturday. Surely that would be good enough again. I could go into the suburbs (that is what I call the residential area back behind Valley Health) where I would find a few more hills. For one reason, if I slipped and fell flat on my face, somebody in a house might come out and help me. More likely they were still asleep. I headed toward the college.
A man was in the driveway of a house near the bottom of the hill. I think he came out to get his newspaper and stayed to smoke a cigarette. We waved at each other.
“I don’t know what the hell I’m thinking,” I said.
“I wasn’t going to say anything,” he said.
The worst part about the snow falling was that it accumulated on my glasses. I had sensibly remembered to switch my good glasses for an old pair of safety glasses, so I could wipe them off on my shirt and not worry too much. It was a little awkward with my mittens on. Additionally, the snow had accumulated on my shirt as well. Never mind, I told myself. I can see well enough.
I did wish I could see a little better, though, because the trees looked so beautiful with the snow on the branches. It was a lovely winter scene. It would have put me in quite the Christmasy mood if the slush wasn’t soaking through my sneakers and into my socks. I kept going, though, because I knew I would not be out long enough to get frostbite. I comforted myself with the thought that a little extra weight on my feet would burn a few more calories.
I ended up running for a longer time than I had meant to, but I felt pretty good about it. Full disclosure: I have not been running since. On the other hand, that is only two days. I’ll run again tomorrow, I hope. I might even write a blog post about it.