Duct-tape dryness factor in foot-deep snow: 3 miles

The first time I ran a snowy trail I thought my frozen toes might fall right off – and I wondered if I’d even know it.

Stupidly, I was wearing shoes with “breathable” mesh uppers that invited the snow right in from the very first step.  Eventually, after my blood got flowing a couple of miles in, my toes rejoined the rest of my body. But my socks and feet were soaked the entire time.

Duct tape, screws and new inserts made these ancient running shoes feel pretty good again, at least on the trail or on snow and ice.

Duct tape, screws and new inserts made these ancient running shoes feel pretty good again, at least on the trail or on snow and ice.

Late last week I took my duct-taped shoes out for a trail run in snow that came halfway up my shins. The sun on the snowy trees was dazzling, so much so that I didn’t mind – or really, hardly even notice – the effort involved in breaking through the crust with every step and then having to pull my foot back out again.

Eventually all that extra gravity pooped me out, and I walked for a while, only to notice that I sunk in much deeper. So then I’d start running again, until I got pooped again. And so on.

Occupied with this problem – yet still somewhat euphoric to be cavorting in this silent winter wonderland – it took me a long time to come to the realization that, amazingly, my feet still felt dry and comfy.

It wasn’t until the last mile or so of what ended up as a 4-mile run (I took a shortcut, given my difficulties) that the duct tape started to come loose and let moisture in my shoes.

By the end, my socks were nearly as soaked as on the previous snow trail run. But those first 3 miles my toes were as dry and toasty as if there were no snow at all — and that made a huge difference.

Makes me wonder how long my feet would stay dry in powdery snow, without constantly plunging through a crust. Clearly, more research is required…

Janathon update:

Day 15 — 4 mile snowy trail run/walk

Day 16 — 4 mile test run with my sister, trying out her sore knee. The verdict: Still sore

Day 17 — 30-minute fast walk around the rec room, decelerating from a day of driving to and from a funeral in Kalamazoo. (My husband hadn’t seen his cousin in 22 years, and she burst into tears when she saw him.)

Day 18 –Squeezed in a 20 minute treadmill run at the Y, plus 5 minutes on the stairmaster that stands so tall it makes you feel like Shaq towering over the rest of the room.

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