Snowy runs and St Albans parkrun repeats

On the 10th December I went to St Albans parkrun with Dad. I had realised that I’d not been there for about a year, and was keen to try out their newest route. It was the first parkrun I did, and it used to be out along a path, 3 laps of the lake and then back. For a long time it’s been on the alternative course, laps of a field, because of flooding by the lake, but they have created a course that takes in the lake (confusingly, still 3 laps but not like the old route at all).

It was a frosty and beautiful morning- some of the lake was frozen, the grass was covered in frost but with bright sunshine so it just looked amazing. One of those perfect winter days.

My hands were so cold- I took my gloves off briefly to collect my token but that was it. It really was freezing.
The Sunday was just as cold, and my long run was another freezing but beautiful run, although this time under cloud rather than gorgeous winter sunlight.
In the afternoon I popped out on a walk to collect some greenery for making a wreath, and saw holly leaves just draped in frost. We also put up our Christmas tree.
On Monday I woke up to loads of snow, meaning work was closed (well, we had to set online work). I made the most of being home by heading out on a run at lunch time as I knew that I would not be running before work on frozen pavements on the following days. Of course I made a snowman in the garden too- I am sure that is a rule?
I could not get over how much snow we had! Back in 2021 we had some snow on the Sunday night, but it was all gone by the Wednesday. This was still around the following Sunday, and of course unless pavements had been cleared they were really dangerous. We attempted a few walks in the week but that was not easy as the pavements were so slippery. (We do own a snow shovel and had cleared our driveway and the pavement in front of our house on the Monday, but I appreciate that not everyone can do that).
One day I went out on a lunch time walk as the snow was not as bad there. I spotted some cool Christmas postbox toppers!
(Snow on my Monday run, Stitch Christmas cup and my wreath)
Snowy St Albans parkrun and our garden a week after the snow, all the cancellations on the 5k parkrunner app, and Christmas gear on at parkrun)

On Saturday 17th December I was meant to be heading to Letchworth parkrun for a meet up with the Herts branch of Vegan Runners. However, the snow was still around and loads of parkruns had already cancelled. Letchworth were on, pending on a morning course check, but you have to drive along narrow residential side roads and I wasn’t confident that they would be OK (lots of the side roads around here were still terrible and icy), and I would have had to leave before their course check had been made, so I made the decision to go to St Albans again as they were on (as they have their off road course that they can use). It was great fun, crunching through the snow, and it felt easier than when it’s muddy. I wasn’t even as cold as the previous week as I had taken my gloves off before the end.

It was only after that I realised I could have tried for Groundhog day (2 identical times, 2 weeks running) as I don’t often go to the same parkrun twice in a row, but with the two different courses it would not have been easy. 30:24 the first week and then 33:05 on the snowy (and hillier) route. But as ever, very thankful that the event was still on.

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