Friends, we have had a lot of snow. More snow than this area ever gets. We also live near the top of one of the biggest hills in town and fine sledding can be had within a 5-minute walk. It’s a steep hill and there are some interesting obstacles to heighten the difficulty and danger of reaching the bottom unscathed. Also, the bottom of the hill is a street. Most sledders end up in it, but fortunately this week the streets have been pretty impassable by car so there haven’t been any casualties of that sort.
Being in town, it attracts a motley crew of older teens and young twentysomethings with poor judgment and intense thirst (this explains the slew of beer cans and bottles left at the top of the hill). They were out on the first day, Tuesday, so we waited until Wednesday to sled, when it was good and windy (wind chills below zero, but my girl is intrepid and had lots of layers under ski pants and a water-resistant puffy coat), too unpleasant for half-drunk thrill-seekers. We didn’t have a sled since every store in town had completely sold out of sleds, shovels, and any other winter survival gear, but the aforementioned college students had left sled detritus of varying quality on the top of the hill. Among the trash was a cracked disc sled that, as far as I was concerned, was still perfectly usable. Having spent decades honing my skills on Mom and Dad’s huge hill with all kids of sledding material, I positioned my rear end on the disc just so, had Nuala sit on my lap, and away we went. We got 6 or 7 good runs down the hill, losing another piece on every pass, until the sled broke apart into pieces too small for me to balance on. Luckily, we are pals with a guy who was able to snag a shovel AND a sled for us when he was out and about in the afternoon so we got to enjoy a little more action before the deep freeze settled over town from Wednesday afternoon to Friday morning.
We waited until Friday afternoon, when the temperature got all the way up to the low 20s, to get back out on the hill. After a few death-defying trips down, Nuala and I figured it was time for her to try it on her own. We moved to a less dangerous part of the hill and let ‘er rip. Be advised that the action ended fine–my battery just crapped out at the precise moment when she came to a stop.
Her method of stopping is “starfish.” I like it.
I haven’t been able to run all week, but the severity of our weather helped convince me that an enforced rest week wasn’t such a big deal after all. Yesterday helped cement that perspective, since I got a glimpse of what I’ve been aiming for with all the running, biking, swimming, Jillian-ing, and general working out I’ve done over the last several years: being fit enough to play with an energetic kid as she grows up and becomes more energetic. I pulled her up the hill in the sled several times and never really broke a sweat. We ran up the hill several times and it was no bigger deal for me than it was for her, and she’s a perpetual motion machine. I don’t think I could have done that if I’d gotten my training runs in this week, so I’m going with “blessing in disguise.”
Temperatures are rising, but the weather will continue to be nasty in different ways throughout the weekend so I’ll miss my 14-mile long run tomorrow. Hopefully the rain will melt the snow before Tuesday morning, so even if it’s bitter cold again at 5am I’ll be ready to get back on track with my training plan. The snow has been tons of fun but I’m ready for spring.