My love of running in the snow increased with age, probably for the same reason I took up trail running–it’s easy on the knees. When I began trail running more than ten years ago, I noticed that the soft surfaces didn’t beat my knees up as much as running asphalt and other hard surfaces. I became an advocate of soft surface running, even wrote several articles promoting trail running.
Of course there is a caveat that goes along with running in the snow. The caveat is related to the sensibility quotient I mentioned in my last post, and admit is one of my weak spots. It should go without saying that running in the snow requires care with your footing. Sensible?
Many years ago I was running in the snow (actually a sheet of ice covered with snow) in Pennypack Park in northeast Philly and slipped, fell on my back, and slid about twenty feet before I veered off the trail and down a hill. Had I not grabbed a tree trunk, I would have slid out onto the creek. Four years ago I took a long run in the snow while I was rehabbing from knee surgery. My foot slipped and twisted in the uneven snow and ripped my newly trimmed meniscus. I had a second surgery later the same year.
The lesson from my silly disregard for my own safety is to watch your footing when running in the snow, and if you do you will be rewarded. First of all, snow is soft, and therefore easy on your knees. Second, the snow is bright, uplifting and refreshing. Finally, there is nothing more beautiful and peaceful than running a trail during, or right after a snowfall. If you are lucky enough to be the first on the trail, then in a sense you are running on virgin ground. What could be better?
There were many more humans on the trial today, a balmy thirty degrees, compared to the single digits of Thursday when I ran alone with hundreds of geese barking at me.
As a side note, the photos and video were shot with my iPhone. Tonight I read a post by a fellow-blogger and professional photographer, Rick Braveheart, about a device called the Olloclip that increases lens capabilities of the iPhone to shoot close-up and wide-angle shots. See The Great American Landscape for more information.