Harsh conditions

Snow Running

Snow Running

Winter weather in the South of Sweden can be harsh. Rough winds, cold weather and snow equals to total chaos. Snow drifts form so quickly on the roads that the snow ploughs do not manage to keep the roads open. Snow does not fall here, it comes horizontal most of the time. Never in my life have I experienced this kind of Winters, and this is coming from a person who was born in the land of the polar bears and Father Christmas.

I am glad I got my running done in the morning of the day they had warned us about the approaching storm. The wind was already blowing at the speed of 15 m/s (54 km/h) but it had not started snowing yet. When ever I was running against the wind I found it not only difficult to make my way forward but almost impossible to breathe. Well, the wind did the breathing for me as it pushed the air in my mouth and up my nostrils pretty violently. Luckily the road took another turn soon and I was able to find a relatively tolerant route back to where I started.

Where I live the landscape is flat and open, and it is always windy. Therefore, most of the time I choose to run closer to town where there is a possibility to run in more protected areas. I have felt very fortunate to have measured forest tracks available to me (1.5km, 2.5km, 5km and 10km). I love running in this nature reserve where the wind does not beat me up while training and it is easy to keep track of the weekly kilometres. At the present the tracks are covered with the white stuff but the asphalt roads make an okay alternative.

One needs to suss the state of the road constantly and I have become quite an expert on assessing where to place the next step. I know there are running shoes with studs available for winter running, and I have even seen instructions that made installing screws under your shoes with a drill look easy. I am yet to feel the need for this accessory. Nike Pegasus shoes, winter shuffle and judicious foot placement has worked for me so far.

I have obviously had a few slips. I am yet to have hit the ground though. When I slipped just the other day, I was curious to see how my Suunto t3d responded to my heart stopping for a second or two. You surely know the feeling when your heart seems to skip a few beats when you almost fall. The heart rate monitor did not appear to react to that skip. What the Suunto monitor react to were my car keys. That same slippery day I started my run very easy. After some minutes I checked my watch for the heart rate and I was chocked to see it reading 167 bpm. I slowed down to almost walk and it would not go down. I was not under any kind of strain what so ever. I do not know what made me think of the keys in my chest pocket. I placed them in my pants and with that the heart rate reading dropped to 127. That was more like it. I also wondered how accurate the reading can be through 4 layers of clothing.

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