Central Texas doesn’t get a lot of snow. Or any snow, really. Every few years we get a dusting, but the last real snow–7.5 inches over two weeks–was in 1985. I remember missing several days of school, which cracked me up because, we’d recently moved here from Northern Virginia where I walked to school in deeper snow than that. But still, snow days were snow days!
Well, yesterday snow was predicted for the Hill Country, but Austin was not expected to see any precipitation. Yet I was sitting in a meeting after school when someone looked out the window and announced it was snowing. It hardly looked like more than rain, and nothing was sticking–it had been 80* on Monday–and I didn’t change my picking-the-kid-up-after-school plan because, well, he could walk the usual two blocks while a few flakes fell on him. Right after dismissal I got a text from him: SNOW! I told him not to get lost in it.
It picked up on the drive home, and it was actually snowing pretty hard when we pulled into our driveway. He immediately harnessed the dog and went out to walk and play in his dog’s first snow. It still wasn’t sticking, though.
Thursdays are training nights, and our coaches always remind us that weather isn’t an excuse–Rogues run in the rain, they say. And technically it wasn’t even raining. So I dug out my long tights, a long-sleeved shirt, a windbreaker, gloves, and a hat. It’s not like I have proper cold-weather gear, so I had to wing it.
With the grey skies, it was already almost dark when I parked my car and met up with my group–seven intrepid souls and our coach. By the time we headed out, snow had accumulated on our cars and was starting to stick to the grass. I’m sure as we ran along a busy road, drivers shook their heads at the crazy people out running. I took the shorter “warmup” route to the meeting point–at times, the wind blew snow right into my face and eyes.
My workout was two laps of “marshes,” where we run the blocks more or less in a figure-eight–hard on the parallel blocks, rest on the shorter perpendicular ones. Some of the intense sections are downhill and some are uphill. Both were into the wind and snow. The others are all marathon training which means they had to run three laps, so I was finished a little earlier and headed back rather than standing around freezing. It was only 4.2 miles, but I earned some bonus badass points for running in the Texas snow, right?
It had stopped by the time I got back to Rogue. The streets were wet and my car’s back window was covered in snow, but it wasn’t any big deal to drive home. So imagine my surprise when, about 9:30pm, my school district canceled Friday’s classes! They said with freezing overnight temperatures, the wet roads were likely to develop black ice, which made it dangerous to try running buses in the morning. It’s the biggest district in the area, both geographically and in attendance–my area didn’t see a lot of accumulation, but other parts of Austin had more than an inch sticking on the ground. Usually the three next-closest suburban districts follow whatever we do. But one announced a two-hour delay and the other two said they’d operate on a regular schedule. I guess that’s an easier call when they’re less spread-out? I don’t know–it seemed a little premature, but whatever. I turned off my alarm clock and didn’t complain.
My friends are running their first marathon on Sunday–the snow and ice will be gone this morning–and I’m going along as moral support. They’re a little anxious, and one of them told me I am their sanity this weekend. I’m not sure that’s something they want to rely on, but I’ll give it my best shot! We’re driving up tomorrow morning to hit the expo and check in to the hotel, so with my unexpected free time today I can pack and get ready for that. And chill in my jammies with my dog, who is perplexed by the cold white stuff under his feet.