Run Oregon Bloggers: Our Snowmageddon 2014 Runs

Part of Matt's run aroud Staats Lake in Keizer

Part of Matt’s run aroud Staats Lake in Keizer

On the first weekend of February 2014, Oregon received a downpour of snow. Some Run Oregon bloggers braved the elements and put in some slippery and cold miles. Here are our stories. What are yours?

Matt: If you look up “cabin fever” in the dictionary, it is very possibly that there will be a picture of me, with my 4 and 2 year old girls, holed up in the house due to a snowstorm. After the storm cut short my final few days of the work week, I have been hanging out at home a lot more than I am used to. Coupled with the fact that the gym I go to for swimming has been closed, I have just felt lethargic to the max.

When the snow finally let up on Saturday afternoon and my kiddos went down for their naps, I told my wife I was gonna hit the streets. She looked at me like I was crazy, but I am sure she secretly was happy to have some quiet time. I managed to avoid any freezing rain and stuck to running in tire tracks along the roads. It was very peaceful to run on the streets with hardly any cars. It was mildly apocolyptic. The only difficult/silck park, was running on the snow filled path aroud the local man-made lake in Keizer. Chalk up one of the most rewarding 7.7 mile runs I have ever done.

Reed College Place in SE Portland, part of Joe's regular neighborhood route

Reed College Place in SE Portland, part of Joe’s regular neighborhood route

Joe: Lately, I’ve been finding it hard to get motivated to head out for my usual training runs in the typical dark, damp Portland winter, but there was something about the novelty of this weekend’s rare genuine snowstorm that drew me out. On Friday I took a short exploratory walk, and by Saturday I was actually excited about setting off for my morning run in 25 degree temperatures and three layers of running clothes. Two pairs of socks, shorts and running tights, two shirts, a running jacket, ear-warmer and hat, two pairs of gloves, and 4.5 miles later, I was very glad I did.

The snow was just the right texture for solid traction in my Skora shoes (which I picked for snow-running because their minimalist treads don’t pick up the snow – thanks for the tip, Brian Bernier!), though sinking in two or three inches each step didn’t lend itself to fast splits. But speed wasn’t important on this day; rather, it was the chance to experience the unique sight of my neighborhood draped in a serene white winter blanket that brought me out to run.

Jessica Mumme running up and down the driveway (and into the road) to clear a path for her Subaru to get into the garage.

Jessica Mumme running up and down the driveway (and into the road) to clear a path for her Subaru to get into the garage.

Jessica: Friday, February 7th resulted in another couple inches of snow for Eugene, and Jessica running around in her drive way clearing the path for her Subaru to get into the garage. Jessica is a huge fan of running in the snow, however, sometimes it can’t be all “fun and games”, as shown here, getting the vehicle in out of the elements is more important.

Teresa: My favorite runs generally are in the spring, summer and fall. Winter runs are not my thing. I hate being cold, my fingers go numb and I often stress so much about falling when it’s slippery, that I create a self-fulfilling prophecy. I was eyeing the treadmill this morning, thinking that looked like my best option. I call it the dreadmill for a reason, since a mile on that thing feels like 10 miles to me. I continued putting it off, wasting time on Facebook and sipping my tea, knowing that I just needed to get it done, yet just couldn’t get started. I need to thank my Run Oregon Family for getting me out the door this morning with the less than ideal weather we’ve been experiencing.

Teresa’s neighborhood run. Look at that snow!

I bundled up, decided it was a good excuse to try a new pair of weatherproof mittens and water repellent running shoes and did my usual 5 ½ mile loop. I thought everyone was cooped up inside, but was pleasantly surprised to see many people out walking. There was a guy on a snowmobile, several cross country skiers and tons of walkers, but I didn’t see another runner. They were missing out, cause the powdery stuff was perfect to run in. It gave my legs a workout similar to running in sand, I stayed plenty warm and my family couldn’t believe how fast I got back home. It wasn’t speedy by any means, but they did accuse me of cutting it short, since it didn’t take me much longer than usual. Sometimes it’s good to get out of your comfort zone, I discovered running in the snow wasn’t nearly as scary as I had envisioned. Yet another reason I appreciate the people I’ve met at Run Oregon , supportive but giving me that push out the front door. Just what I needed.

Tung: PART 1: After being cooped up in the house since Thursday, doing nothing but my emergency in-home workouts, I ventured outside on Saturday afternoon to go to the market. Reading about other Run Oregon bloggers getting out there and running made me want to lace up. So I put on snowpants and snow boots and found that I could do something that vaguely resembled jogging once I got past my front yard with its foot high snowdrift. It was kind of exhilarating for about a quarter of a mile…. Snow boots aren’t running shoes, alas.”

PART 2: CABIN FEVER!! While I was shoveling snow for an hour on Sunday (first time in five years!), I saw a few people running and even one guy biking in the snow. “Well,” I said to myself, “I should be able to do that too.” Yesterday’s “run” in snow boots was pretty suboptimal, but with a bit of thawing in the air, I opted for trail running shoes over the other alternative of running shoes with Yaktrax. It was slow going, and mildly treacherous footing in a few spots. Other parts felt kind of like running on creme brulee, if you can imagine what that would be like. Appropriately, I was listening to Neal Stephenson’s “Snow Crash” during this run.

Amy taking in a run and a snack at the same time!

Amy taking in a run and a snack at the same time!

Amy: My first few steps made me laugh out loud. And I mean I laughed like a little kid on Christmas morning who has opened the one gift that would make their Christmas complete. I could hear myself hysterically giggling over 38 Special’s “Hold On Loosely” blasting in my ears, an appropriate tune for trying to keep my balance. I’m fairly certain I looked like Phoebe from Friends. I ran just like I did as a small girl in Spokane Valley, WA. I felt like I was 11 again, rewinding my life 30 years. I felt freedom, fun, joy and excitement. I remembered trying to outrun my brother’s well-formed and accurately thrown snowballs. I remembered running home dodging piles of snow in the road, before the plows could get to the side streets. I remember laughter and fun with friends on many cold, winter mornings. I remembered making a sled hill with ice on our sloped driveway and the cussing my father did when he came home from work! And, I simply ran in the quiet and calm that one feels after a run well done. The only thing I heard was blissful nothingness, save for the sound of my breathing and my laughter. Yes, even at mile 3 I was still laughing out loud.

Bonnie: Naptime struck and I suited up for a run in all of the random layers I could find; our washer is in

Keeping it "stylish"!

Keeping it “stylish”!

an unattached garage and the pipes underground are frozen. I set out knowing that I would most likely not make it far,  but haven’t gotten to run in snow before so thought this would be great. It was mostly great, it was good to get out and see who else was out (spoiler alert: no one). Running in that snow was mostly like running in dry sand at the beach, lots of effort, not a whole lot of impressive forward movement. It doesn’t help that our neighborhood has not been “manicured” at all. Took me about 20 minutes in the blowing wind to go a little over a mile – not my best, but so is life in the Portland snow.

About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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