Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Blizzard of '08 n Mo Pichers

THE RUN

Yes, I am still running on Saturday mornings.
And today was an interesting session.
Contrary to pattern, it really did snow last night, as predicted.
So when I went out to my car this morning to travel to my running path, I had about an inch of nice, fluffy ice crystals covering it.
Some light scraping and about a half gallon of hot water on the windows improved visibility sufficiently to allow safe driving.
I walked down the driveway to my street to assess the ice situation.
The road and driveway were wet and the light snow flakes that were falling were not sticking to them.
It was not icy – there (more on this shortly).

I was careful on the drive over to Research Park and it was well that I was as the roads had patches of ice here and there, especially on overpasses.
I must cross three to get to my parking spot and they all were slippery.

As I started out, there was light snow falling and a lovely 20 MPH wind blowing the 26 degree air from the north-west into my face.
It was 6:11 AM.
I wore my windbreaker over a single mesh layer which proved to be just about right for the journey.
But I needed goggles.
The wind was blowing the snow so hard that the flakes were hitting my eyes.
They stung like sand.

I ran carefully today, and it was just as well I did.
The parking lots, roads and sidewalks all were a mix of dry pavement, wet pavement (like home) and icy pavement.
I did my best to avoid the ice, but it was everywhere.
I could not go very far before one or both of my feet would slip on an icy patch.
I pondered aborting the session in the interest of personal safety, but there was enough non-icy surface that I felt I could do the whole circuit.

Hill number one appeared more formidable than usual because of the white patches that covered nearly its entire surface.
Stepping carefully, I found a narrow band of dry pavement next to the yellow line in the left-hand lane. (there is no traffic on this road so I run in the middle of the street.)
As I topped the hill and followed the turn I wondered if I would be skiing down the west side.
It proved to be fine.

Hill two was a bit more of a challenge because I run on the sidewalk (because of all the traffic coming in and out of the Dish Network facility there), it is more narrow than the road (duh) and it is steeper than hill one.
Again, there was some slippage of footage which required careful foot placement.
.......... NOTE ........................
Running on ice is not recommended.
But when one does, one must take pains to plant each step straight down.
This includes trying to match the angle of the area on which you step, such as driveways, and transitions between sidewalks and roads, etc.
One cannot put any lateral (horizontal) pressure on the placed foot.
This means no increasing or reducing speed or turning or changing direction.
Such moves must be done carefully and gradually – preferably on a dry patch of pavement.
.................................................

At the beginning of mile three there was a huge patch of ice that covered the whole road from curb to curb and was almost a quarter of a mile long.
For this area, I retreated to the grass of the median.
While the grass was not slippery, it was uneven, and reminded me of why I hate to run on any surface other than pavement or a track.

Early into mile three, my left knee, hamstring and hip all started complaining about the extra stress the careful running was inflicting on them.
Running Central commiserated but refused their request to walk the rest of the way to the car.

By the last quarter mile the sun was trying to break through the snow clouds and it seemed warmer (though that might have been an illusion because the wind was coming from my back now).
I was feeling strong and, while I did not sprint to the finish-line crack, I was able to push myself a little.
It felt really good.
I love endorphins.
It was 6:55 AM.
That comes to forty-four minutes for a “careful” run.
I was pleased.
And, in spite of all the ice, I did not fall.

MORE PIKTERS



This and the next picture were taken at Devil's Churn on the Oregon coast.
It was quite windy and the waves were really showing off as they played on the rocks.



As you might guess by now, I like to watch the waves splash on the rocks.



Being able to modify the exposure of a picture on my computer is really a treat.
As you can see, it really helps bring out the colors and contrast.



On the last day (I think) a rainstorm passed over us and then the sun broke out for a few minutes giving us a nice rainbow over the ocean.
Pretty smooth, huh?



This was taken at Depot Bay as we were coming home.
The clouds were breaking up and the sun was playing peek-a-boo which set off some interesting contrasts with the clouds.

A few more pictures next time.

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