Fresh Powder

I have one morning each week where I don't have to exercise. For whatever reason I can skip a run or a session with the weights. No reason needs to be given for not wanting to exercise. It doesn't matter if I want to sleep in or read or simply don't feel like exercising. I have one day and can use it however I want. (This one day off a week actually helps me stay motivated to exercise the remaining days of the week.) So Tuesday morning arrives. I have a four mile run scheduled. Before I can get out of bed, Marathon Girl puts her arm around me and asks if I'll stay in bed. I have that one day where I don't have to exercise and made the decision to stay in bed. Besides, winter is the hardest time of year to run because it's cold and dark outside. So I snuggle back under the covers and plan on running the next morning.

Unfortunately the God of Winter decided to play a little trick and dump three inches of snow on the ground Tuesday night. And when I woke up Wednesday morning to this winter wonderland, I wanted to stay in bed. The roads were packed with snow. The temperature hovered around five degrees Fahrenheit. This was the day I should have stayed in bed.

Instead I got out of bed very slowly (I kept hoping Marathon Girl would pull me back under the covers but she was sound asleep), dressed in umpteen layers of clothing and headed out the door.

I was surprised that there were no other footsteps on the running trails. The regular runners having wisely stayed indoors left me with three inches of virgin snow to run though.

Turns out running wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. Though I had to run slower than normal, traction was good. The air was crisp and clean and felt good to breathe. And it was nice to have the running trails to myself.

And by the time I was done running I was convinced of one thing: If you've never run on fresh power, you've never really run.

(The last line with apologies to Tobias Wolff.)