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Ten breathtaking miles in the snow

I went for a 10 miler today in the snow. It was one of those fantastic runs that you remember for years afterwards. It was cold (sub-zero) but crisp and dry, not damp at all. The snow was pretty thick still, about 10cm off pavement. I ran one of my usual routes down to Sandridge then over the hill to Ayers End then back over the hill again to Nomansland Common and then home.

The snow was very powerdery, like icing sugar and it had been windy so the drifts were deep. The sunken lane behind Pound farm had filled up to knee height but the farmer (or somebody) had cut a narrow path through it. There were loads of hardy St Albans folk out enjoying the weather and breathtaking views in the bright sunlight. On the top overlooking Sandridge there was even a family having a picnic on a rug.

The path at the top of the hill had drifted up and there was no easy way thru. I jumped straight in. It only came up to just below my knee but the shock was incredible. It was like jumping into an ice bath. All the heat seemed to get sucked out of my calf muscles. It only lasted for about twenty metres but was a real trial to get through. I warmed pretty quickly as soon as I got out and brushed the snow off (bare legs).

I don't like to pause on runs, especially when its cold, but the views and the silence was so spellbinding several times I halted to drink it in for a few seconds.

Got back to St Albans feeling pretty good. Managed to do it at nine and a half minute mile rate which is nothing clever but the going was tough.
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