What do you other snow runners do under these conditions?
First off, always be aware of what’s going on and look out for #1. While it’s nice to zone out on a run, you have to be very careful, especially in the winter. Drivers just aren’t used to people being out and about at this time of year. If you are running in the dark you have to be even more aware. I remember driving to work one day and not seeing a runner, even though they had reflective stuff on. Reflective material doesn’t work if a cars lights aren’t shining on it.
If I’m running on the shoulder I make sure that I keep my head up and watch for cars. It’s very easy to drop my head and look out for footing, but looking out for cars is more important. Whenever I approach an intersection I’ll take a quick look over my shoulder. Even if I have the right away, I expect not to be seen. If a car is approaching a stop sign, I’ll go behind it – while watching out for other cars.
A lot of my running routes are on bike paths next to main roads. If the snow is too deep and I can’t run on the bike paths I don’t do those loops – unless there’s a wide shoulder. Instead, I’ll run around residential neighborhood. Although there aren’t any paths or sidewalks, the traffic is a lot less and a lot slower. Yeah it sucks wandering aimlessly or doing some short loop 10 times, but it beats getting hit. Hopefully the bike paths will be plowed within a day or two. If all else fails I will do my long runs on the ‘mill. Last weekend I got so feed up with the wind and the crappy footing after 12 miles that I did the last 8 miles on the mill. It was weird because then it didn’t feel like a 20 mile run.
Hang in there. You’ll be tougher for suffering through the winter.