Recent changes to my schedule have given me the opportunity to wait until daylight to get my morning run in. It’s nice because I am getting a bit more vitamin D and feeling a little less like a mole.
Of course being out later in the morning takes a little bit of the fun out of running in the snow because I don’t get to make the first set of tracks anymore (or even the second set on those days where I do a double loop of the block). However, it does add a different dimension of fun in that I can analyse the tracks of those who’ve been before.
For example, a set of paw prints just barely on the outside of a long groove can only be the feet and belly of Werner, the chubby dachshund that lives around the corner from me – and the set of boot prints beside tells me he wasn’t AWOL. Footprints that tell me someone is walking tend to have a scuff leading into the heel print when the snow is deep enough for Werner’s belly to leave a groove, yet shallow enough that Werner can still see where he’s going.
Runner footprints, in contrast, are a nice, crisp shoe print, perfectly defined – unless it is that light, poufy snow that blows out as your foot makes contact – then runner footprints tend to look more like a cross section of a light bulb. Most of the time you can even tell whether the runner was wearing Yak Traks.
Of course, all of this fun only lasts until you encounter the sidewalk plough. Not that I am complaining! I am just not accustomed to seeing it, given that I used to be long done my run before it was out and about. Sure, it interferes with my studies to become a master tracker, but hey, how much demand is there for a master tracker of dachshunds, anyway?