Monday, February 8, 2010

Winter adventures--indoors and out!

This past weekend we got yet another round of snow...this time, about 14 inches to add to the 3 that were still on the ground from last weekend's storm. School was canceled on Friday, before any snow had fallen, and we will be closed tomorrow as another storm is predicted. With all this white stuff, what's an ultrarunner to do? Run!

On Saturday, we needed a few items from the store (and since the power was out, I needed a huge mocha from Greenberry's). So I packed up my pack with cash, my cell phone, and snacks and some water and headed to town---about 5 miles away.

Trees were down everywhere and the snow was coming down hard, but the running was pleasant:

When I took the Rivanna Trail, the snow was up to my knees.

Alas, the power was out at Greenberry's too. Sniff.

The CVS was open, so I got our supplies and a few newspapers, and headed back home. More trees were down and conditions were pretty bad. I actually was able to run on the Rte 250 bypass, all alone with my thoughts. Not one car passed me.

When I got home, the power was still out, and would be for the next 24 hours. But we made the best of it by napping, sledding, reading, going to the movies, heating water for soup on the camping stove, and playing Battleship and Sorry! next to the fire. The next morning (Sunday) it was so cold in the house that I knew a long run in the bright sun would make me a lot warmer and happier. My wonderful hubby took the kids to town for breakfast and hot showers, and I took Jack on a 17 miler on dirt roads. It was gorgeous. The snow packed roads were perfect to run on (with Yaktrax) but the last two miles were a beast. I had taken a route home through the Tree Farm and off the road, and there was no turning back. Post holing through the snow took me almost an hour. Fortunately, the sun was high in the sky, I was warm, fed, and had plenty of water. Rusty called me on my cell to report that the power was back on, and that I could have a hot shower if I ever got home... I vowed that my next Tree Farm adventure would be with skis!

The Tree Farm is a gem... a private farm near my house with miles and miles of horse trails. The owners are very welcoming to those of us who use it quietly and discreetly for our runs and walks. There are open fields and dense woods, and plenty of wildlife to keep Jack busy. So today, under clear skies and warm sun, we set off around 4:00pm for a cross-country ski adventure, since the snow was too deep for any running or walking:


The farm woods

Looking west towards the Shenandoah National Park

Jack got really tired post holing up to his chest, but he was in heaven out there...

When the sun started to set, we headed for home, reluctantly...

More snow on tap for tomorrow, and perhaps more adventures to share...Happy Trails!


Rick Gray said...

I can hear the excitement and joy in your words. Always our upbeat Sophie out there making the best of what nature has in store for us. Be safe and careful out there in all of that snow. And remember, Jack's legs are not as long as yours!

ultrarunnergirl said...

gorgeous snowy scenes and great adventures! way to take Mother Nature in stride Sophie!

meredith said...

I was totally complaining to myself about running outside tomorrow in the 28 degrees. I will shut up now and appreciate the fact that you enjoyed the "warmth" of a run outside when you didn't have power inside. I feel like such a wuss...thanks for giving me strength!

annette bednosky said...

Wonderful photos and post. You live magically! Jack seems like a GREAT trail companion. Take care, Sophie!