This week, it was all about the snow.
It doesn’t really snow much in Atlanta, Georgia. Sure, we get the occasional sleet event, but rarely do we experience the complete ground-covering snow blast that we received Saturday morning, January 19th, 2008.
Naturally, during such an unique event, it was mandatory to put on the hats and gloves, and step outside to log some miles.
This was one running experience I was not going to miss.
Trail Running in the Snow
I can honestly say this is the very first time that I have run in the snow. It was everywhere. Snow coming down, snow on the ground, ice in the trees…
Arriving at the Sweetwater State Park trails, we noticed that there were no security guards or rangers, no vehicles, …but an open gate. To me, an open gate says, “come on in, y’all” – so we did.
At the start of the run the snow was already falling steadily; and so was the temperature. Decked out in toboggans, gloves, and multiple layers of polyester, we ventured off into the woods for 10-11 miles of pure joy. With a big race happening next week, I was only shooting for 8 miles, but our muscles felt so good, and the scene was just too cool to call it quits after an hour. We clocked a few mo’ miles just for the joy of it.
Break out the Bikes
As expected, the brief snow day quickly turned to more of a snow/rain thing. With temperatures expected to drop more overnight, the ridiculous media had everyone believing we were in for a complete city lock-down. As usual, the weather media was wrong, the sensationalistic bubble burst, and we ended up Sunday morning with some really cold temperatures, but with crystal clear blue skies and bright sunshine.
Time to switch it up. Time to break out the mountain bikes.
It was 19 degrees when I suited up for some trail terrorizing, only 4 degrees if you counted the wind chill. For some reason, perhaps it’s my extreme sports background, but when it comes to biking, I just can’t go out there rocking the running gear, or any of that spandex-y, polyester fluff that I wear while running. Instead, I put all that stuff on underneath and then covered it all with some baggy khakis, long sleeved Metallica t-shirt, some gnarly black trail shoes and an MP3 player packed solid with an aggressive riding soundtrack.
Ah, perfect – now I’m ready.
Or so I thought…
Just as I was feeling cool as Coolio and tough a nails, my wife chimes in, “don’t forget your cell phone, it’s cold out there… Call me and let me know you’re ok…”
What am I? …twelve?
I hit those trails with a fury. One, because it was cold, and two because I’m one of those dudes that gets bored just following a path. I like to find stumps, fallen trees, steep drops, hella climbs, dirt mounds and other aggressive riding obstacles sure to send me flying over the handlebars at least once. Today, three times – plus one very funny climb where I started the ascent, geared down, continued up …until I just couldn’t climb anymore; but rather than just stopping, I realized I was on a ridge and I just sorta’ fell over the side of the ridge. Nowhere to step off the bike, nowhere to bail, just a pretty rough sideways tumble down the side of hill with the bike still between my legs.
A big log finally broke the fall.
I just laid there for about five minutes. Smiling. Laughing. …wondering how I was going to get out of this one.
I thought about calling my wife, “LuvPi, (yea, I call my wife luvpi – you can laugh if ya wanna) I’m sitting at the bottom of hill, upside-down, stuck under a log with a my bike between my legs – this is me calling to tell you I’m ok…”
But I thought better of it.
Had a great time on the those frozen trails. By the time the Bad Brains reggae dubs hit the ear buds, I was already muddy, stinky and looking for more. I must’ve stayed out on those trails for almost three hours before finally heading home to complain about being hungry and try like crazy to negotiate a massage.
I got to eat; but sadly, no massage.
Mountain Mist is next week – Can I get a Woo Hoo?