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first frost

November 22, 2010


First Frost

First Frost

First Frost

Winter Cycling

Last week I woke up to the first real frost of the year. The grass and leaves on the ground were covered in a silvery glow, the air felt crisp and cool. But the sun was out and it really wasn’t all that cold once I started pedaling. The thermostat in our kitchen showed it to be around 37F at the time I left. This sounds cold, but if there is one thing I’ve learned from running year-round, it’s that it never feels that cold once you’re moving. Especially when it is sunny and dry. By the time I stopped to take the above pictures, I was ready to unbutton my coat and shed my gloves and earmuffs.

I’m actually looking forward to cycling through the winter. It can be beautiful in its own cold and quiet way. I know this from running through the last few winters and enjoying the wonderland created by the snow, early twilight, and twinkly lights. Here are some shots taken while running in Munich (yes, I carried a pocket camera with me on a few runs last year, my dorkyness knows no bounds), inspiring me to look forward to another winter of enjoying the outdoors…






15 Comments leave one →
  1. November 22, 2010 22:21

    I love your dorkiness in carrying a camera on your runs! Ever since I saw that movie with Jim Carrey (Yes Man??) where he goes on a photo run through the Hollywood Hills, I laughed and thought “that is me to a T. One day I’ll do that!” Being in Australia, I have never had a chance to run through snow covered streets and tracks. Do you need to wear special soled sneakers?? That is definitely something I would love to do.

    • November 23, 2010 01:34

      Lucent Imagery – it’s easy to carry a point-and-shoot type camera in the winter because my running jackets has pockets. So I would just keep it in my pocket and then occasionally stop and snap a few shots. I wanted to do something like that on summer runs but I never quite felt like it because it meant carrying the camera in my hand the whole time.

      As for special shoes – there are YakTrax which I’ve read some runners rave about. They are coils that go unto your shoes and help with traction. I’ve considered getting them but ended up doing just fine without. I look for roads or trails that have been cleared, run in big fluffy snow (such a workout!) opposed to ice, and go slower altogether. You get such a different workout from trying to balance much more while running. And running through snow makes you feel just like a kid again. While I definitely envy you the wonderful weather and backdrops of Australia, running in the snow is something that I would recommend :) I guess you’ll have have to pack some running shoes and schedule a winter destination vacation some time!

  2. November 22, 2010 22:45

    These photos are beautiful! I am a beginner runner (just did my first half marathon yesterday!) and was thinking of the gear and logistics involved in winter running. I know this is a cycling blog, but will you consider doing a post for winter running combined with winter biking perhaps? Thanks!

    • November 23, 2010 01:28

      RB – congrats on your first half marathon!! How wonderful! You’ve definitely given me good food for thought – I will do a winter running post because I really love continuing to run outside in the winter. I’ve never enjoyed indoor treadmill running as much as I love outdoor running and I have a few awesome staples in my winter running wardrobe that I couldn’t do without. Stay tuned!

      • November 23, 2010 03:21

        Yes, running post please!!!

      • November 23, 2010 16:34

        Yay, thanks, I’m excited! I really dislike treadmills, beats my main purpose of running – being outdoors. :)

  3. Jennifer permalink
    November 22, 2010 23:27

    These photos make me want to go back to Germany. I was just thinking this evening that it would be great to spend time there without working or studying. I was mostly too self-conscious about making mistakes in speaking German when I worked in a German office. I would love to go back now and just throw myself into it, mistakes be damned! Can I ask how your German language skills got to be so good? I read your occasional comments in German on your blog and I always think how much like a native you sound (to my non-native ears). You are seriously good at it.

    • November 23, 2010 01:26

      Jennifer – yes, mistakes be damned! The best is to just go for it!

      I learned German in Germany as a child. My family emmigrated from Romania after the revolution and our first stop was Germany. We spent three years living there and I went to school there for grades 2-4. I didn’t speak a word of German when we arrived but I was fluent by the time we left (children just learn languages so quickly). I’ve since lost some of that fluency but I still do well with it. Having spent the past year in Munich helped bring a lot of it back again too. I also teach German now and am keeping in contact with it on a daily basis.

      What took you to Germany? And where were you while there? If you’re interested in speaking German, have you looked into any community groups that hold informal conversation hours? Especially if you are near a university with a German program, they are likely to have weekly or monthly informal conversation nights!

      • Jennifer permalink
        November 23, 2010 23:49

        That’s great that you learned German as a child! It’s true about kids picking up languages. My friends (German-Scottish) have two bilingual little girls and it constantly fascinates me to see their language skills develop.

        I lived in Regensburg from age 19 to 20 when I decided to do the third year of my law degree in Germany. It was amazing and difficult in that order. Then more recently I set up a new legal department for the Düsseldorf office of the company I work for. That had all kinds of challenges over 18 months, but again I loved it. I hope to live abroad again in my life. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.

        Looking into German conversation nights has been on my to-do list for a while so thanks for the reminder. I live in a university city (Edinburgh) so I am sure there will be opportunities to join one.

  4. November 22, 2010 23:30

    you are killing me! i have been daydreaming of winter in Europe all day… (there is a tiny chance we’ll get some snow today and it’s making me all wistful.)

  5. November 23, 2010 01:34

    i struggle with winter and it is during these difficult days that i relish the joy other people find in it. it is one of the reasons blogging is so important to me. thank you and keep up the positivity!


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