Getting Lost in the Snowy Woods

The thought of running in the slippery icy snow for the first time was really frightening, I had no idea what types of shoes to wear, what gear I needed or how many jackets I had to put on. But I decided it was time to face reality. This was going to be my first time running in the snow in the Midwest because I had never had the chance of running after a snowfall before, but this time I had to do this to prepare myself for my next mar
athon on April 9th.  

Around 9AM, my friend Kalee picked me up and drove to Lewis and Clark Park in Iowa, where it was so cold that I could see the white foggy air coming out of my mouth.

At the park, we met some Greater Omaha Area Trail RunnerZ, aka Goatz, who are a group of runners that get together every week to run different trails around Omaha. We all gathered in the parking lot ready to get some miles in; regardless that fact that the vast majority had never run at Lewis and Clark. We knew it was going to be a fun new adventure for all of us!

The first part of the trail was surrounded by some gently rolling hil
ls covered in white snow. Every step I made was followed by a crunchy noise coming from the snow, and I learned that if that “crunchy” noise wasn’t there it meant that I was stepping on slicky ice.

Our main idea was to run close to 6 miles, but we noticed that after one hour we had only accomplished to do 3 very slow miles because we had to walk every time we found ice. At that point, and after some talk about how hard it was to find the real path that was covered in snow, we realized we were completely lost in this place that we really didn’t know.

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My friend Kalee climbing up the hill.

We all decided to keep moving because the temperatures were in the single digits, and to prevent frostbites or gangrene we had to keep our bodies warm. A few minutes passed, we decided that the best option was to literally climb a steep hill hoping to get to a safe place close to where our cars were parked.

I climbed a hill grabbing skinny tree trunks, thick roots, weeds, slippery grass, and whatever I could find on the way up. It was not an easy task, but it was the only option to get out of that place. When I got to the top I was surprised by the beautiful view of Omaha and Council Bluffs. I got to take a few fun pictures at the top of that hill, but all the fun ended when we noticed we were still lost.

Most of us thought that the best option was to go north parallel to the railroads and the interstate visible from the top. However, one of the girls running with us suggested to go the opposite way because she felt that going north would lead us nowhere. We were all skeptical to follow her because she is known for getting lost in the trail. But this time, her sense of direction was right, and she was able to locate the parking lot where all this adventure had originally started.

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Top of the hill

Getting to the cars was not going to be easy either because the path that led to the parking lot was a very slick little hill. As I was trying to get to my car, I noticed that the ice was thick and slippery, I did my best to stay on my feet, but I didn’t succeed and fell on my

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Sliding down the hill

butt. The mishap didn’t end there as I saw myself sliding down the trail of ice, towards my friend Kalee. Her first instinct was to try to help me by grabbing me… although she ended
up grabbing my boob!
FINALLY, we got to the parking lot, but we didn’t leave without taking some pictures of the stunning view of Omaha first.

Overall, I spent one hour and forty minutes in the woods, just to get only four slow, terrifying and adventurous miles in!!!

From this experience, I learned that it is not a good idea to run alone in a trail you’ve never been before. And also that two pairs of wool socks, two pairs of pants, two warm jackets, a hat and some ice-trekkers are a good combo to wear when running in the snow.

Days until race day: 1 month and 18 days.

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