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David Freeze: Gotta Run

Coping With Mother Nature

Not much keeps me from running daily. I have often laughed about running in the thunder and lightning, especially when the lightning gives off its best show during pre-dawn runs. I cannot remember missing a single run because of lightning. Frankly, I think it is exciting. Heat and humidity can be tolerated too, although there is definitely nothing exciting about running in a damp oven.

High winds aren’t so bad either. If possible, I try to face the winds on the way out and get a little boost on the way back. Another method is to keep the high winds to your side and the effects are limited. Heavy rain might make me wait a while, but usually not. I just keep a pair of old running shoes for this purpose and wear a lightweight rain jacket and a dri-fit cap. Running in a drizzle is near perfect.

Several times over the years, I have written about running in the snow. I just love it! I don’t like the ice part of it as much, but usually just using more caution than normal gets it done. But this past weekend’s snow messed me up. I got dressed for an early Saturday morning run and went out to find that I couldn’t keep my shoes above the fluffy snow. No cars had been by and nothing had packed the snow. It was loose and filled my shoes on each stride. I gave up and went back.

Then came another attempt on Sunday morning. Someone with a farm tractor had cleared our paved road and did a good job of it. However, the small amount of melting from Saturday afternoon combined with the snow removal and a low of zero to leave a glassy and slippery roadway. Every step was slippery. In the past, I could always find white spots where the traction was good. Not this time. I gave up and went back.

Then came Monday morning, with a low of 5 degrees, and more of the slippery same. I didn’t even try. As I write this, I know that Tuesday will be good. Even if I slip, a bone jarring fall is not necessarily worse than missing a good morning run. There is plenty of making up to do. One friend said, “Just make it up over the next few days!” That is only good to a certain point.

And finally, let’s don’t forget the perfect days to run that by far outnumber anything mentioned above. Nothing else is a substitute for the freedom and joy of running anytime, but especially on a good weather day. Plenty more winter challenges are coming, but those normal weather days are the reward for what mother nature throws our way. On those days, I feel great and life is good!

Another thing about the wintry weather from last weekend is that it pushed the start of the winter Beginning Runners Class back to this Monday, January 16th at 5:45pm. The location is First Methodist Church of Salisbury and everybody is welcome.

I have talked about winter running quite a bit. Winter racing kicks off with Salisbury’s 34th Annual Novant Health Winter Flight 8K at Catawba College on January 29th. It’s a Sunday, 2pm start for the 8K and the 5K Health Walk. The free half-mile fun run for kids, 12 and under, starts at 1:30pm on the Catawba College track. This year, there is a fun event added, or might I say brought back from many years ago. A combined pasta dinner, late registration and SRR annual meeting is scheduled for the Hurley YMCA at 6pm on Saturday, January 28th. Proceeds to Rowan Helping Ministries. Information on all these events is available at www.salisburyrowanrunners.org

Hopefully a winter storm won’t mess up these events, but if it does, I’ll get out there and get my run in. Can’t stand it otherwise!

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