Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Beautiful bounty

This past weekend, the Chicago area was hit with an abundance of snow. This may, in fact, have been our largest snowfall this early in the season ever. Interestingly, our neighbors to the north in Wisconsin and Minnesota were spared.


Official total? 11.5 inches. Thankfully, the temperatures are warming back up, and we are going to see the ground again very soon.

But in the meantime, what did I do with our bounty of snow?


I ran during the storm. It was beautiful. It was peaceful. But very slushy and wet. When I got home, my feet were soaked. My hands were soaked. I was chilled to the bone. That post run shower felt heavenly.

The day after the storm was sunny. But it was really cold. Winter-like cold. January-like cold. I put on my cold weather gear and my running shoes and took it to the trails where I do so much of my training. The park district plows these trails. While they were somewhat clear, the trails were a little bit slippery. I took it slow. And managed to stay upright for the entire run. For my efforts, I was rewarded with a feast for my senses.

Snow. Sun. Blue skies. Crisp, clean air. Solitude.


I felt almost euphoric when I finished. There's just something special about running in those conditions. When so many runners throw up their hands and head to the treadmill, there are a few of us who take it outside, no matter what Mother Nature throws our way.

Instead of cursing the weather, I looked at this bounty of snow as a gift.


Transformed by the bounty of snow, my very familiar world took on a whole new look.

It's been at least 9 months since I ran in snowy conditions. We're still in between seasons, and the leaves haven't entirely left the trees.

I felt pretty lucky. Sure, I complain about the cold. I say that I'd love to live where the winters are mild. But every winter, I'm reminded about how beautiful the change of seasons can be.

Remind me to read this in March...

Do you like running in the snow? What are your favorite running conditions? What's your weather deal breaker?

I'm linking this post with DebRuns for her Wednesday Word link up. Today's word is bountiful! Be sure to check out the other posts!


74 comments :

  1. Total agreement (but you probably knew that LOL). I hate the cold weather, but I do appreciate the beauty. Running in the snow is a different ball game than running on smooth, flat terrain. It sometimes hurts (in muscles I forget about), but it's all good. It's more like a cross-training experience, and that's all good. It has to be wicked cold, windy, blizzard-like with severe ice for me to stay inside ;-)

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    1. Yes, I was really sore after Saturday's run in the storm!!! I'm pretty good about getting outside no matter what the conditions. Now that it's warming back up, I'm looking forward to the snow melting.

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  2. Weather deal breaker is freezing rain. HELL TO THE NO. I was hoping that when you asked the rhetorical question on FB as to what you wrote about (as the word was bountiful) that you would say breasts but nooooooooooo

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    1. Yeah, no. It would be difficult to run with THOSE!

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  3. No, I don't run in either rain or snow. A little spit of a shower, maybe, but that is my bottom line.
    I stop running for the season when the snow falls and doesn't melt. Far too dangerous. So many people ignore the laws and don't shovel their sidewalks. It's far too dangerous to run in city streets with huge mounds of snow around which runners (and those forced to walk in the streets) are invisible to cars turning corners).

    I must admit, though, that your photographs are stunning, especially the one contrasting the last vestiges of autumn with the onset of winter.
    I don't like the cold, but I've extended my lower temp limit my first year (Hey, I was just starting out, what did I know) in the fifties to now running in the twenties. If it's cold and clear, I might go lower. We shall see.

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    1. I run in the street most of the time (unless I go to this trail) because people park across the sidewalks. Plus the streets are pretty clear. You know me, I rarely run inside.

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  4. Running in snow can be so peaceful. Your photos were beautiful!

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    1. There was just so much inspiration this weekend!

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  5. Very beautiful pictures, Wendy! It certainly is beautiful running while it's snowing or a couple days after when everything is blanketed. We get a lot of snow in PA but we have not had any yet. In fact, the weather has been pretty mild for my morning runs up until this week. Shit hit the fan and it is getting cold. Not BITTER cold like it gets in Jan-Mar. Which is good because I need to adapt to the 20s-30s so I am ready for when it's in the single digits!

    Okay so my weather running deal breakers: dangerous wind, lightening, and slippy conditions. If it is slippy, I will not risk it because I do NOT want to fall. There have been a couple times I have had to cut runs short due to scorching temps and freezing temps. I know some people think it's badass to run at noon when it's 100+ degrees, but I think it's stupid!

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    1. I'm right there with you! Now the snow is melting and it's that freeze-thaw thing...so there were some icy patches on my run this morning. Still, it was really pretty and nice temps, so I'm glad I went. Just cautiously...

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  6. I can't believe you already have so much snow! I'm not looking forward to that kind of weather!

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    1. So not normal for us! It's already melting. But it was pretty while it lasted!

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  7. I love snow running! My deal breaker is below 10 degrees and windy. I can deal with snow, but the wind makes it unbearable. Every year though, I attempt to break the barrier of my limits!

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    1. There is no lower limit for me--if it's below zero but sunny and no wind, it's still an outdoor running day for me!

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  8. It was slushy and very wet. But yes, so beautiful too. I'll take snow over cold rain any day.

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  9. I wish we would get s decent amount of snow here! Looks pretty!

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    1. It really was pretty! It's all melting now...

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  10. Your conditions really do look beautiful. I must admit that I haven't really had to test my weather condition boundaries too much. I can say that the heat never used to bother me as much as it does now. Maybe someday I won't be scared of freezing cold weather and/or snow either. Great post and gorgeous pics! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Wendy!

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    1. Thank you! I can't complain about our weather--we've had a great fall, and this snowstorm, even though it was early, was really pretty!

      Happy Thanksgiving to you!

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  11. I love running in the snow, but around here it's usually just a slushy wet mess. And we don't get snow more than 1 or 2 times a year most years. Supposedly this year we won't get many snow storms, but we are supposed to get one big one. We'll see - Virginia doesn't know how to handle the bit ones LOL. (And 11.5 is big for around here.)

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    1. 11.5 is a lot of snow for us too! It was crazy!

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  12. These pictures are so beautiful that they almost make me want to run in snow.....almost.....you are seriously badass... I do think that if I did live where it snows, I would opt to run outside in snow than on a treadmill.... I can not stand indoor runs.

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    1. I cannot stand running inside. I think I have ADHD--I get so antsy and bored on the treadmill!

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  13. I'm glad you stopped seeing weather as a curse and enjoying the bounty of snow. Great article- you have me convinced. Wonderful photos as well x

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    1. Thank you! I always love running in the snow. And when it's bitter cold, it feels like a quest...

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  14. I can't even imagine. I whine and moan when we have a light drizzle!

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    1. It's actually really enjoyable! You'd be surprised.

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  15. Its so hard to believe that you guys got as much snow as you did in mid November! I'll admit, I'm a wimp when it comes to running in the snow. If there's any threat of bad weather, or its extremely cold, I take it to the treadmill.

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    1. I loathe the treadmill, so that's enough incentive to get me out the door! I do winter speed work on the 'mill, tho, and last year I did some "heat training" to prep for a Florida half in March. I'll do the same thing again this year.

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  16. Can't believe you got so much snow so soon! I do love running the snow - so peaceful. I try to run outside in most conditions unless there's thunder and lightening involved. My cold threshold is around 10 degrees, then I'm treadmill bound.

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  17. Yay snow!!!! Snowy runs are my favorite. They're hard sometimes (fresh snow is tough!) but so beautiful and so worth the effort! I can't run yet but I did go snowshoeing in our new snow last weekend and really enjoyed being out in the snowy woods!

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    1. I want to try snowshoes! I do cross country ski, but have yet to try snowshoeing. Seems really fun!

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  18. So crazy that you already got such a big storm! Love all the photos. My hubs just got me a go pro is that what you are using? I have no idea how to use it yet LOl

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    1. I'm just using my iPhone 6. I'd love a GoPro--the pictures are amazing!

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  19. Definitely too early for snow. I don't run when it is slippery. Otherwise, I run outside all winter. I HATE the treadmill.

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  20. Oh my goodness, I had no idea that chicago got hit so hard with snow. I usually watch the news but didn't hear anything about it. It's pretty unusual for us to get a snowfall before Thanksgiving and seeing as we've had unseasonably warm weather here lately I doubt we're gonna get some anytime soon. I admit there is something peaceful about the snow and I really don't mind running in it. Enjoy!

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    1. It's unusual for us to get snow this early too! It's all melting now. But it was kind of fun.

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  21. I can't believe how much snow you have! This time last year Toronto had snow but so far it's been one tiny snow fall and that's it.

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    1. It was really crazy! But I loved it! And now it's gone...

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  22. Go Wendy! It looks amazingly beautiful :) I have done some runs in light snow, but I admit, i am always worried about slipping, so I go a few days after a snow, when roads have cleared. I hiked once in a snow storm, it is still one of my favorite memories.

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    1. I do love running in the snow. It's like driving in the snow, once you get the hang of it, you just go.

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  23. I love the photos in this post. I don't mind running in the snow as long as the roads are safe- sometimes that gets dicey around here. Rain and cold is a much bigger deal breaker for me than snow & cold.

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    1. Thank you! And I agree. Rain and cold...suck.

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  24. You braved the snow! Running outside is so relaxing and therapeutic. Great post Wendy :)

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    1. I love running outside no matter what the conditions.

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  25. Wow here in NJ we have not had any snow so I am able to run outside. However, if this winter is anything like last winter, it will be back to the old treadmill soon. I have to say I am always afraid I am going to slip and hurt myself in the snow.

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    1. I just change my route so I can run outside all winter. Ice is the only thing that stops me.

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  26. Wow. It looks so pretty. The only time I ran in snow was while visiting DC one spring. We were staying in the suburbs and I ran around the snowy covered neighborhoods.

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    1. I get plenty of opportunity to run in the snow--unfortunately! Some winters are more mild, tho, and we don't get a ton of snow.

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  27. There is definitely something peaceful about running in a snowstorm, but I don't do it often because either I don't want to drive or I'm just afraid of falling. Having lived in TX for 17 yrs, though, I can absolutely tell you I didn't miss fall or snow. We had that snowstorm the day before Thanksgiving, btw, but thankfully we're warmer this year.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. Happy Thanksgiving to you! The snow is pretty much gone btw...

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  28. Love that purple pull over and so impressed that you're out running in that snow!

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    1. Ha! It would be much more impressive if I was running on the treadmill! That is so much tougher for me.

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  29. Beautiful pictures.

    I've never ran in the snow as we don't get much in the south of England and when we do it doesn't last that long. I have had some fun runs in the rain with a lot of mud underfoot though. I don't especially like running in the rain but it always feels like a bit of an adventure and I feel very happy when I've finished.

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    1. Today the snow is gone. It's warm and rainy. Crazy weather!

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  30. It looks beautiful, but very cold for this SC girl.

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  31. I don't mind getting out in the snow, although I get nervous if it is icy, which it can be out here since our temperatures seem to be a little milder. Beautiful photos! I just ordered myself a GoPro - I need to get some tips from you!

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    1. My pictures are all taken on my iPhone 6! I'd love a GoPro!

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  32. 11 inches? wow! I really want to try to run more this year no matter what. So need to get that balaclava thing and yaktrax!

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    1. Both must haves if it's cold and snowy by you! I love running in the snow!

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  33. So, I bet you can guess, that I have never run in the snow! I would not know what to do with myself! The hubby did get snow this past week in Wisconsin but not as much as you. Pretty pictures!

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  34. We don't get a lot of snow here, sadly we get more ice than snow which forces me to choose the treadmill. I don't mind running in snow if it's not icy!

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    1. Same here! Ice is a deal breaker for me.

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  35. Gorgeous photos! I love running in fresh falling snow, when it's peaceful and quiet. I also love running on a day when the sky is clear blue and there's snow on the ground.

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  36. Beautiful pictures! We haven't had our first snowfall yet, but I love the snow and running in it. My deal breaker is ice - I'm not going to risk an injury.

    Hope your Thanksgiving weekend has been wonderful! Thanks for linking up!

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    1. Ice is always a deal breaker for me too!

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  37. We don't get that much snow where I am. You know we all go crazy when flurries are in the forecast! I have run in sleet before. Not fun hitting my face. I would say ideal would be in the lower 50's.

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    1. I agree with that ideal temp! My race this past weekend was in the 30s and it was a bit nippy!

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