When it’s too dangerous to drive, go for a run – in the woods

Here's what happened during Saturday's whiteout conditions on U.S. 30 in northeast Indiana. Happily there was hardly any traffic on the country road I was driving. If I'd realized how bad it was out there, I would've stayed home. But I didn't, and wow, what a run!

Here’s what happened during Saturday’s whiteout conditions on U.S. 30 in northeast Indiana. Happily there was hardly any traffic on the country road I was driving. If I’d realized how bad it was out there, I would’ve stayed home. But I didn’t, and wow, what a run!

The wind started whipping up Saturday just before I headed out for a trail run. I wasn’t too concerned because I knew the woods would block most of the wind, but I wasn’t prepared for how insane the driving conditions were: Total whiteout at times. It was like the world outside the car had vanished.

By this point, I was closer to the state park than to home, so I kept creeping along as best I could, waiting for those moments of at least limited visibility.

I pulled into the deserted parking lot at the trail head, staggered through a white tornado toward the woods – and entered a different world, where the wind was just a distant howl.

There was more snow than I expected, but I plunged on in, eager to be out of the wind and ready to get to work after a day of no running and too much eating.

Funny how my perspective has changed. The first few times I ran this snowy trail I was hyper-aware of how much it was dragging me down. But with last week’s Chilly Chili Run still fresh in my mind, I ran as fast as I could, lifting my feet before they had a chance to sink in, appreciating that “extreme sports” feel every time I had to scramble to keep my footing.

I was all alone in the woods – and maybe even in the whole darn park – but in my mind I was chasing the runners from last week’s race.

Just like before, I picked them off one by one. Only this time, I didn’t let them catch me at the end.

Inside the woods, the wind was a distant howl.

Inside the woods, the wind was a distant howl.>

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