Life Without Running – A Word About Running in the Snow

“They say that every snowflake it different. If that were true, how could the world go on? How could we ever get up off our knees? How could we ever recover from the wonder of it?” – Jeanette WintersonSnow Trail Front

Have you ever thought about what your life would be like without running? Think about it, especially if you’ve run since as far back as  you can remember. How would you fill the void, release the endorphins, or get that feeling of a good dripping sweat?

Something I look forward to each year is running in the snow, but snowy conditions also led to my last knee surgery. A few weeks ago I posted Don’t Take Your Health for Granted, and then this week I sustained a scary injury, in the snow. It was my own stupid fault. I know I should be extra mindful in the snow, but was distracted by the beauty around me and found myself lying face down. I laughed when it happened, but four days later I’m sitting here hoping I only pulled my groin and praying I didn’t tear a muscle.

So here’s the takeaway–if you are a snow runner, be mindful of surface conditions and watch your footing. I find freshly laid snow the safest and easiest to maintain control. Ice is the most dangerous. Well-traveled surfaces that harden are full of ruts and footprints, causing knees to twist and turn in directions they are not designed to go, and it happens ever so slightly you won’t notice until your knee swells while your watching television at night.

Run in the white stuff for sure, but be mindful of conditions and watch your footing. Slow down and be safe out there.

Advertisements

About Jim Brennan

Jim is a Philadelphia-based writer, author, poet and editor for the Schuylkill Valley Journal.
This entry was posted in Health, Running and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Life Without Running – A Word About Running in the Snow

  1. Sophie33 says:

    A great post, Jim. I am not a runner at all but my father & husband are. My father ran more then 25 times the 20 km through Brussels & my husband can run more then 10 km, each time. 😊

    Like

  2. Hi Jim, I was a runner up to the time of my hip replacement. Now, doctors don’t allow me to run. I’ve replaced it with an exercise bicycle, elliptical machine and walking on a treadmill. I still work up a sweat. A friend of mine is running a snowshoe marathon. I’m exhausted even thinking about that. Merry Christmas. ~ Dennis

    Like

    • Jim Brennan says:

      Hi Dennis, recently I was with a buddy who had both hips replaced last year. He’s a real active guy and is having a hard time adjusting to a different lifestyle, finding new ways to satisfy he aerobic itches–cycling, weight training, etc. I haven’t run in a week, probably my longest layoff in years. It’s weird, and a bit maddening. This little groin injury has brought me back down to earth. I’m grateful for my health. I haven’t given up on the 50K in Janurary, yet, but a snowshoe marathon? That exhausts me thinking about it too. Stay well, and Merry Christmas. Jim

      Like

  3. LB says:

    Perhaps you can use that forced downtime to read or just enjoy the beauty of the season. Merry Christmas, Jim!!

    Like

  4. msmidt says:

    I hope you get to feeling better soon, Jim.

    Like

  5. Oh gosh, I wish you a really swift recovery and that you haven’t done any serious damage! What a nightmare… Like you, I love running in the snow. However, for me it’s only ever for fun, and I don’t worry about time/pace/distance. You’re so right, you really have to slow down and be careful to be safe. Get well soon, Jim!

    Like

    • Jim Brennan says:

      Fullmoonrunner, thank you for your thoughtful note. I’m going to attampt to follow advice I give other runners and allow time to recover, but it’s not easy. I have my first ultra coming January 4th, and I’m gonna lay low til then. If I’m pain-free on race day I’ll give it a go; if not, I’ll sit it out. Again, thanks!

      Like

      • It’s definitely not easy – we all know what to do when it comes to injuries, but actually doing it is really hard! I’m lucky in that I’ve only ever had very minor niggles, but even then changing my routine is very difficult. It always helps me to tackle the recovery with some plan in mind: physio, foam rolling, anti-inflammatories, stretches, cross train, whatever is suitable. I hope you’ll be just fine on the 4th and that this period of rest is just a taper in disguise. If not, there’ll always be another race!

        Like

        • Jim Brennan says:

          It’s probably the best time of year to take a break. I’ve always told others that you have to be healthy first, then comes the running. So I’ll glide into January fully rested, and hopefully recovered as well. Again, thanks Fullmoonrunner!

          Like

Comments are closed.