Saturday 18 December 2010

The Trail Runner's Shoeshine

I must admit, I rarely scrub the filth from my shoes after a muddy run.  I know I should, to save the seams from the deteriorating effects of the drying, occasionally caustic mud.  One of my regular training runs ends near a nice shallow brook, so I will usually have a dip to rinse the worst off.  Once or twice in the life of the shoes I will put them under the water butt and take a brush out to re-discover the shoes' original colour, but that's usually after stepping in something particularly unpleasant.  But to get anywhere close to properly clean, there's nothing better than a run in the snow!  So, when the forecast came through for a bit of snow I was excited on two counts:  first, I really enjoy a run in fresh snow; and second, I might be able to keep the shoes in the house instead of on a shelf out back where the smell doesn't offend.

As ever, though, the best laid plans can go awry.  The 2-3 inches that would have made for a pretty run through the hills was down before dawn, and the snow was still coming.  By 8:30, I decided that I would move the run to the late morning, after I had a chance to run some errands.  By 10, with about 8 inches of snow down and more to come, my plans were truly scuppered. 

A snowy Evesham gets even snowier.

Nic had (sensibly) cancelled all non-essential visits to her clients, and was home to "persuade" me that it would be foolish to drive out to into the Cotswolds.  Ah, the unspoken threat of "if you go out there and somehow manage not to get stuck, injured, or killed on the untreated roads, I'll throttle you anyway for making me worry!".  So, what to do?

The normally pleasant river-side path transformed into a Winter Wonderland!

Not having run for 2 weeks due to a combination of taking some recovery time and catching the snot-tastic cold going around, I was pretty much climbing the walls.  All the while, the snow was still falling.  With about 10 inches lying, I decided that pretty much any sidewalk, road, path, or trail would be alike.  So, we figured out a route that should be tranquil, open, and "outdoors" enough, without taking me anywhere unduly dangerous.  The result:  I could go out in my trail shoes and plough through the snow just like the kid I am, with the added bonus that the horrid concrete-like mud from Portland was magically washed away by all of the snow.  I can't wait to go out to play again tomorrow!

Enough snow for more fun tomorrow!

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