Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Snow Angels

It seems most of my training runs lately are by myself, so I need to find a way to make it interesting and fun.  Winter weather sometimes means snow and nothing seems more fun than playing in the snow.  So while I like the bragging rights to say that I ran in the snow, making snow angels is more fun.
On two of my recent morning runs - under the cover of darkness I have gone to friends' homes and made snow angels in new snow.
random internet snow angel
The first time, almost 2 weeks ago I made a snow angel visit to a family from church and then followed up with one at our church.  Just as I got into position in the friends' driveway, the garage door across the street started to open!  I made my mark quickly and headed down the street before anyone was visible in the garage.  Soon after that a vehicle came down the street behind me and I had to wonder how much snow was visible on me from behind.  That morning was fun for me and talking about it later with them it seemed they liked the surprise of finding a snow angel in their driveway.
Yesterday morning's new snow provided another opportunity and I had a bigger plan.  I had about 90 minutes available for running and planned to tag the driveways of as many runner friends as possible.  I made a trial angel in our own driveway (and swept out a heart shape on our deck for my own angel) before heading off on my angel run.  Denise's house showed lights on when I got to her driveway and went to work.  I even tried to make a halo on her angel.  Then I mostly retraced the half mile between our houses and went to visit Troy and Jennine.  Lights were on there too and while I was flapping my wings on the ground a car pulled out from across the street and the headlights swept across me as I got up and resumed running.
It was about two miles to Amy and Mike's house which was dark as I tried for a good angel mark with a halo.  I turn my headlamp off as I approach the target home and then back on once I am running again.  From there I tried to picture the map so I could take the shortest route to Ralph and Heidi's house, maybe 2 or 3 miles away.  I decided on a route that went past a house where Rose and I lived for about 20 years and then up a street that is sometimes our 'hill workout' street.  This street is also where some church friends live, so I ran to their house first.  The snow in front was already cleared and I saw the kitchen light on as I went through the alley toward their garage.  I picked a place there that was not cleared and made an angel where both Bob and Marjorie should see it. 
A few minutes later I was approaching Ralph and Heidi's home and passed someone outside clearing off a vehicle in the prior block.  Lights were on as I marked the driveway behind Heidi's van and as I tried to sneak away it seemed there was movement inside the front door.  That was the end of my snow angel plan.  I would follow the rails-to-trails path through downtown and go by the YMCA on my way home.

Heidi posted this pic
As I approached the railtrail next to the creek I saw 2 people approaching so I rounded off my approach to give them more room.  This was a little past 6:30 am and only halfway light outside.  As I reached the path one of the men called out and asked if I had a cell phone.  He was smaller than me but the other man was bigger with a long dark coat.  Both looked to be dressed to be outside in the weather.  My first impression was they might be homeless and I was on guard against possible trouble.  I stopped about 20 feet away to ask what they needed.  "My truck won't start, I need to call someone to pick me up for a doctor appointment".  I kept my distance and said I would call for him.  I remembered a recent talk about personal safety and awareness so I looked around behind me in case of someone approaching, but the parking lot was empty.  It turns out I misunderstood the phone number and reached the wrong person on the first call.  I got the number right on the second try and the person I spoke to agreed to the request to pick up the man whose truck wouldn't start.  The man with vehicle trouble thanked me, We exchanged names and I headed on my way.
The remaining ten minutes or so until I got home went quickly as I reviewed my pre-dawn adventure and thought about what my workday would hold.

All that remained of our snow angel at noon - after being run over twice.

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