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What I Learned: Snowshoeing

Finally we had a beautiful, warm (30’s) sunny day yesterday! I was torn between going for  myfirst outdoor run in 3 weeks, or trying out my snowshoes for the first time. I decided to go with the snowshoeing.

I am not a huge risk taker-it takes me months, sometimes, to make a decision, and only after researching and debating back and forth can I decide. And in the case of purchasing snowshoes, I did the same thing. I thought about buying snowshoes for a year. Then I asked my friends on Facebook for recommendations: what to buy? what to wear? where to go? Then I searched and researched on the Internet, at stores, I compared features, ratings and prices. And finally, becasue I had never even tried snowshoeing, I decided to purchase an inexpensive, all around, middle of the road, easy to use pair from LL Beane.

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That was over a month ago! Then I needed to figure out what to wear? Boots? Running shoes? Snowpants? Yesterday was warm enough I decided to wear my Brooks Ghost 6 GTX, with Smartwool socks, Nike tights and skirt, Outdoor Research gators, a Hot Chili’s shirt, my Nike warmup jacket, and a Marmot vest. I did bring a pair of Nike fleece running gloves, but ended up shedding those afetr I warmed up. I also wore a winter beanie and sunglasses.

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Since I had no idea what to expect, other than my personal trainer had warned me it would be hard to run-I decided to just go with it! I am fortunate to have a beautiful town park a few miles from where I live, with miles of groomed trails.

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There was only one problem-the trails were not really marked very well, and I do not have a very good sense of location, but I told myself to stay on the groomed trails. I passed several people out walking their dogs, and had to move over to the side for a couple of Nordic skiiers, and I only managed to end up in people’s back yards a couple times. (How did that happen?) I did wear my Tomtom GPS watch, so I knew how far I had gone. Since I was pretty close to home and surrounded by neighborhoods, I was not too worried about actually getting lost, and I did have my phone with me.

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So how did it go? I loved it! I ended up going 3.5 miles in a little more than an hour, with many stops where the trail broke off in different directions. There was almost 400 ft of elevation. The trails were perfect. I tried running for a minute or two at a time, but the shoes were too wide, and a little awkward. I also had some pulling on my right achilles due to over pronating. I have been having a little trouble with that ankle and achilles, so I decided not to push it. I think I will invest in some actual running snowshoes, and I found this great article (more research) when I got home to help me decide!

Overall, it was a great workout. Other than the gloves, I had dressed appropriately. I still missed running, but the streets were still pretty slick from the snowfall the night before, and I learned something new!

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Have you ever been snowshoeing? If so, what have you learned? I would love to know!

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