It's not too often you get snow in central North Carolina. Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill will sometimes see a sprinkling of ice, but it's still enough of a novelty to warrant panic-stricken surges to Harris Teeter. We North Carolinians suffer through the indignities of winter weather - sleet and freezing rain and lack of infrastructure and jeers from our northern neighbors - but the reality is the conditions really aren't ideal. Half an inch of solid ice and a dusting of snow? No, really. You try running in it.
The sleet and freezing rain started on Friday, effectively shutting down the Triangle. The snow started on Saturday, dropping fluffy cold clumps on top of the ice. By Saturday afternoon McCrae and I had cabin fever and were aching for adventure, so McCrae went to the shed and pulled out mountain bikes. McCrae has been mountain biking for a while and has gently been encouraging me to try it. (If you know my road biking skills though you'd probably be shouting, "LIZ! DON'T DO IT!" but that's another story.) McCrae set up a spare bike that's too small for him with the seat lowered while I bundled up in warm clothes and a much-needed helmet, and then off we went into the snow and ice!
I won't bore you with details except to say I yelled at one oblivious driver who was texting while driving in the snow, and I performed one spectacular wipe-out onto an ice-encrusted curb. Yeah, maybe don't introduce your loved ones to a new sport in icy conditions.
It wasn't an experience I can honestly recommend. I've run in snow before, and I relished the rush through (white) powder on a (runner's) high. It's certainly a special experience with the chill wind nipping your nose and the snow crunching underfoot, and all the time you feel like you're flying over an enchanted landscape where only muscle memory determines sidewalk from grass from road.
This was nothing like that. This weekend was muddy snowbanks and ankle-deep slush and cars that drove a little too fast and a little too close and sprayed ice into your eyes and parking lots and driveways and sidewalks where ice had melted, run together, and frozen again into one treacherous sheet.
Trust me on this: in these conditions you want a treadmill. Blasphemy, you say? Fine! YOU try running in it!