This afternoon was the coldest we’d experienced. We noted that snow had become something so frequently seen that we barely noticed that it was snowing yet again. Up North when the schedule says snow it darn well snows. The morning was bright and beautiful as we visited Dallas Distillery and then as we checked out Kinloss Abbey the snows suddenly descended in a blink of an eye.
At that moment we questioned whether to carry on with our plan to visit Findhorn Bay. However, the storm cloud cleared and the blizzard moved on so we decided that we’d chance it as it was our last full day here. We were going whatever the weather. Seeing a couple of runners braving the elements for the first time in days furthered my resolve to run.
I have a strange love with coastal running. Running on sand is hard. The resistance of the soft ground slows down the pace even on compact sand. Technique and care must be taken on pebbled beach towards the rising dunes that separate in layers from the Findhorn so as not to risk turning an ankle. Snow on the sand makes matters worse. There is an extra layer to the resistance and ice to battle with on the pebbles. Snow on sand turns your running game level onto hard core mode.
Two and a half miles into the run heading east I hit a cloud that was dark yellow against the silvery sky that turned out to be a snow storm. Probably the one we’d experienced earlier. It was worse out on the coast without any cover from the wind. The blizzard caused vision to worsen. Snow hurts quite a bit when it’s hitting you straight in the face at eighty miles per hour.
By the time I found Steve and we navigated our way back to the car I’d done four miles in conditions most people wouldn’t even leave the house in. I was caked in snow and had to dust myself off before getting into the warmth of the car. I felt full of excitement, the adrenalin of the run, of going into a storm of snow and coming out again with your own two feet.
Just you and the elements all around you 100%back to raw nature. Running along the snow covered sand the first thought that came through the serenity was about our footprints As runners are our footprints any better than the ones we left before we started running?
I feel inclined to say a runner’s footprint is far more positive. Being a new found commute runner I use the bus a lot less saving money and time. Running makes us more in touch with nature and aware of our environment. We leave our footprints physically in the mud of the trails or the ghosts of them on the road. It upsets me to see that some runners choose to deposit their used energy gel and drinks bottles on sides of the road. But on the whole a runner’s footprint does more good than bad.
Our footprints travel the world in search of adventure. The thrill of the race. They raise money for the charity. They motivate others to run and be healthy. We think more about what we eat and how it fuels our body. They leave a memory of us and an impression with people that see us as we experience the world. Running has taken me places I’d never even thought about discovering.
The thing is that to our ancestors running wasn’t something that they squished into their day. It was how they survived. How they hunted and how they travelled without the comfort of another option. Odd, then, how things evolved into having to make time for something which was once as natural as breathing.
This thought is initially what inspired me to take up New Year’s Resolution #1 which is to run or cycle commute wherever possible.