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Snowy Morning Run

What is it about a blanketing of snow that transforms the world from mundane to magical?

After last week's much-hyped snow forecast fell flat on its face - nary a flurry graced the sky in DC - I was starting to resign myself to the possibility that no snow would fall this year. I feared my beautiful snowshoes would spend another year languishing in a corner of the basement.

I'd made plans to run with my friend Sara, so I hit the hay at a reasonable hour last night. 

However, I made the mistake of starting a new book yesterday. I have never understood how people read to fall asleep. My brain refused to wind down. I tossed, I turned ... 

At the shock of the alarm, I popped right out of bed: I knew that to hit snooze even once meant missing this run. Groggy, I struggled to choose clothing. You know what's a good idea? Figuring that out the night before your run.

It wasn't until I was half dressed that I peeked out the window to discover the first fresh snowfall of the year. Instantly, I was excited to get outside for a taste of Real Winter!

I met up with Sara and we wasted no time starting our run. It was cold and the wind kicked up as we trotted along the National Mall. It snowed intermittently. 

We stopped for a quick photo of the Lincoln and Washington monuments. As we ran past the Korean War Monument Sara pointed out a photographer snapping pictures of the snow on the life-size bronze soldiers. 

The Washington Monument. Not snowing at the moment.

The Lincoln Monument
We loped up Independence Avenue. The wind grew stronger on the wide open fields approaching the Washington Monument. On we pressed to the Capitol reflecting pool. Here's a shot of that scene. It wasn't a whiteout to our eyes, but here's how it looked to the iPhone.

Whiteout conditions!! Well, for a brief moment.
I've spent countless miles on trails in the woods with Sara, but this was our first city run together. Even if the next few aren't quite as picturesque, I can't wait to get out there again. I'm ready to show winter I'm up for whatever she's got.

Hometown Run

A Kansas winter sunset (photo by Brian McGuirk)
I haven't lived here for 12 years. 

One of my favorite things to do when I'm home for the holidays is to go for a run on the country roads on the edge of my hometown.  Running is a blend of nostalgia and seeing things I never noticed from behind the windshield. It always surprises me how short the distance from my parents' house to the edge of town is, when it used to seem so long.

Hubz and I went late one afternoon in the waning daylight. We had the country road all to ourselves, the quiet solitude punctuated by the rhythmic crunching of ice and gravel with every footfall. 

The blood orange hue of the setting sun, the snow-covered fields, the cold air pockets at the bottom of each hill. 

The first true winter run of the season was a sensory feast.

Happy New Year.