During what percentage of your training runs do you find yourself uncontrollably grinning the whole time? For me, that percentage is extremely low, despite how much I love running.
Yesterday happened to be one of those days though.
I work for the University of New Mexico, and most of the campus shut down yesterday due to snow and ice. For me, this of course meant a free afternoon to go run trails. I drove up to my closest Sandia trailhead at Indian School and parked about a mile away from it. This affords me almost exactly a mile of runnable, but challenging uphill to get to the trail. It makes a nice, slow warm-up through a somewhat affluent neighborhood. Lots of people were out shoveling their sidewalks/driveways and I had two people just completely stop what they were doing and look at me with an expression of bewilderment, as if to say “what the hell are you doing out in this weather if you don’t have to be?”
Despite a bit of an ice storm the previous hour on my drive home, it was actually perfect during my run. The snow and ice stopped, the wind died down and the sun started to peek out right as I reached the trail. The snow was perfect to run through, light and fluffy powder that didn’t stick to my shoes or pants and just let me cruise through it relatively easily. Everything was pristine, with only the occasional animal track, so I of course got off trail almost immediately and ended up post-holing my way to the top of a hill to look out at the city.
After I turned and descended off the back of the hill, I saw my first other human out on the trail. He was coming up the inclined trail with his dogs, who looked like they were having the best day of their doggy lives. (To be fair, dogs look like that almost every day). They were hopping and splashing through the snow and ran up to happily greet me. As I nodded hello to their owner, I noticed he was also sporting a huge grin. It was just that kind of day.
I cruised the descents back to the trailhead, glissading/sliding/falling my way through the fresh powder and finally made my way back to paved roads. It was a little sad to leave the perfect conditions, but it was fun to speed down the mile back to my car.