Tuesday, January 18, 2011

nir•va•na : An ideal condition of rest, harmony, stability, or joy.

We have had some very weird weather patterns here lately. We hit a low the other night of -27 °C and the predicted high a day later is supposed to be  0 °C with a chance of freezing rain and 5-10 cm’s of snow. It is pretty wacky sometimes trying to figure out what to wear (or not to wear) depending on what time the run is starting.

Here is a pic of me last night as I got in 12 kms at -17 °C in 1:05:00. As you can see, it was a bit frosty. I was just happy to start the run at 4:15ish and get done an hour later. It started off with the sun still out but ended in the dusk.

As I was running, I could hear my shoes squeaking (or scrunching if you prefer) and it kinda made a cool rhythm. As I don’t run with music anymore (seems to throw my tempo off from song to song and I really only used it before so I couldn’t hear my knees scream at me), I started making up song lyrics/military marching cadences in my head to amuse myself ....too bad I can’t remember any of them.

But what I did remember was when I was about 12-15 years old. I grew up in Northern Manitoba were winter really was winter. It was not unusual to see  -40 °C in the morning. Cars had to be plugged in at night or there was no chance they were going to start. And I could not get enough of playing hockey outside for hours and hours until my feet were frozen and my hands were too. And I LOVED IT!!!!!!

We used to have winter carnivals to break the monotony of winter and they would have kid events (Little Trappers stuff) and it would be fire building competitions (yes, they gave us axe’s and matches!), wolf calling, raven calling, trap setting...and snowshoe racing. Now we are not talking little racing snowshoes...no we ran in full-size clunkers. There was always 1 guy I could never beat...that kid was a running machine. And the best part was that these were money events. I used to walk out with anywhere from $70-$100 in my pocket at the end of the competitions. That’s some pretty big bucks for a kid in the 70’s. 2nd in the snowshoe race paid pretty well. And I LOVED IT!!!!

As adults, we sometimes forget the pure joy of being a kid. We start to make excuses as to why we cannot do thing’s instead of looking at the challenge we are being given. Winter running is a challenge.....and I must admit at the beginning of winter, I really wondered if I could force myself to go out in the cold on a regular basis. I think I have answered my own question because I ran last night and it was an exceptional run. No great shakes on the time, no record pace. But there was no wind, crisp clean air, plowed sidewalks and cool noises, and I LOVED IT!!!! I felt like I was 12-13 years old again in the big snow shoe race....and I had a huge flood of great memories to fuel my run.

And that is as close to “Nirvana” as I think I can get with my running shoes on.

What do you think about when you run? Have you ever had a Nirvana moment while running when you hear that musical note and all is well in your world?


Jamoosh said...

Definitely hard core!

Kovas Palubinskas said...

My nirvana is the quiet of the woods when the footing is sure and the scenery everchanging. Prefer summer but will take a winter trail run any day.

Lee said...

Woot! Woot! Winter running makes me feel like a kid too! I was tearing around in the snow with my dog yesterday, oh and skating on the canal, that makes me feel like a kid. I know what you mean about that rhythm of your feet crunching/squeaking in the snow. I also like running in the winter at night, there's no one around and I feel like the world's all mine

ThE MidLiFe CrUiSeR said...

That looks wicked cold. Literally.

When I run, my mind is a broken record telling me about all my aches and pains. I turn the music up. The body wins...most of the time :)

Jim ... 50after40 said...

Holy Cow ... it's so cold there the icicles on your roof froze in the form of Christmas lights. Brrrrr!

Chris K said...

That is some crazy a@@ sh%$#. It was 79 F here today. I got home and my daughter had her portable floor heater on. I kid you not.

Andrew Opala said...

Who's Nirvana? Your neighbor?

We used to have a rink all year round ... and since we had a few others in the neighborhood we would play a league ... but it was like the ancient tennis, where no two surfaces were alike, some had nets at the ends of the L-shape. The rule, if you wanted to advance to the other net to shoot, you had to skate once around the cedar shrub sticking up out of the ice at the bend.

I always wonder why our friends to the South attack warm countries, and then start having troubles in mountainous regions or in Winter ...

Michelle said...

Woohoo! Manitoba!! The last couple nights are the first ones that I HAVEN'T plugged my car in!