Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Many Words for Snow

"Rob McKenna had two hundred and thirty-one different types of rain entered in his little book, and he didn't like any of them. 
"Since he had left Denmark the previous afternoon, he had been through types 33 (light pricking drizzle which made the roads slippery), 39 (heavy spotting), 47 to 51 (vertical light drizzle through to sharply slanting light to moderate drizzle freshening), 87 and 88 (two finely distinguished varieties of vertical torrential downpour), 100 (postdownpour squalling, cold), all the sea-storm types between 192 and 213 at once, 123, 124, 126, 127  (mild and intermediate cold gusting, regular and syncopated cab-drumming), 11 (breezy droplets), and now his least favorite of all, 17."

           Douglas Adams -- So Long and Thanks for All The Fish

So, this afternoon I went out for my post Nemo run.  I'm visiting my parents on Martha's Vineyard, so I waited until 2:30 to be sure that the roads had been plowed.  The peculiar joy of running in or after a big snow fall is the variety of surfaces.  On the way to the road, I had to break trail through a foot of fresh snow.  Then on State Road, there was brown slush, white packed snow, wet road, slippery slush and a bit of ice.  I turned onto Music Street, and then Middle Road, where the surface was glorious packed and sanded snow. It was hard, even, and, because of the sand, the traction was good.  I kept stopping to take pictures with my I-phone as the sun broke through the clouds.  Then I turned left down Meeting House Road, a downhill dirt road.  That was a challenge.  The surface varied from hard pack, to frozen mud, to the stuff skiers call death cookies (large pieces of chopped ice).  It was fun to run on, so long as you watched where you were going.  Then back onto State Road for a couple of miles of slippery slush.  What a great run!!  Much better than getting caught out in the rain.


  1. Magical. Thank you for the photos.

  2. Nice job on the photos and the run. Meanwhile today on the Isis we did 2k race repeat training in a solid wall of rain. In Eights and Fours. (We have a Henley regatta next weekend.). Then in to the clubhouse for bacon butties and tea, dry kit, then back into the wet kit and do it all again. In even more wall-like rain. Shattering. Why didn't I focus on ping pong more?

  3. Great shots and glad everybody is ok on the vineyard. I had some great summer runs there two years ago and hope to get back there and Nantucket soon.

    My training continues to consist on minor improvements on the treadmill. I can now do a couple minutes of running at 5.3mph before slowing down for high incline power walking. About a 7:1 walk/run ratio which is marked improvement to a couple of weeks ago. Shooting for doing first quarter of Rome at a reasonable run/walk ratio and speed.

    1. Its inspiring to see you recover, Spencer. I'm also glad you have realistic views of the reasonable possibilities! Because selfish as I am, I hope that your remaining healthy through the Rome trip means you will be up for a run or two during Spring Meeting week.

  4. Stay healthy Spencer! Looking forward to the conference.