18 January 2013

The Birthday Run.

Chaulieu St Christophe, along the run.

The Birthday Run through the snow with Strelka and Leroy: 10.4 km - 64.20 min, -6ºC, harsh North-West on open stretches.

It's my birthday today and I couldn't resist the temptation of celebrating it with a good run, even though it's a grim winter day.

'You're Russian, you should be used to cold', I keep hearing ad nauseam. 

No, we, Russians, we're used to well-heated and insulated homes, warm winter clothes, good water-proof non-slip footwear, soft fur shapkas and heavy-duty gloves or mittens. 

It's the English, with their rattling windows, thin doors and drafts, they're the true spartans, who'd rather bear cold than make life cold-proof.

It's been snowing since the morning, prickly light powdery snow that doesn't melt but twirls in the air, gets into your eyes and under the collar, and builds up snow drifts in minutes. The roads were covered in soft snow, which wasn't packed yet and not slippery at all, the sky was dark and grey. The white of the snow made everything light and eery, but strangely pleasant. 

In the woods, we saw a great big hare in his light winter coat. The dogs gave him a chase but soon gave up in the deep snow.

And there was an added bonus of the French driving slowly and courteously. 

If you run on a snowy day, take special care, remember that snow muffles sounds and the hood or the flaps of your hat make it hard to hear approaching cars. One car drove right up behind without me hearing it. The driver honked gently and I let him pass waving in acknowledgement.

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