Weather bad?It’s all relative |

Weather bad?It’s all relative

Sometimes it helps to take a step back and get a little perspective. We’ve had some periods of tough running weather this winter, with day after day of rain and cold (40 or below) at times.

Then we get a break and have some sunny and warm days, climbing up near 70 degrees, reminding us of what is to come.

On Monday and Tuesday of this week, we had a winter storm that made running less than desirable, with downpour and winds that knocked down trees and knocked out power to many, resulting in a “snow day” for my son and many others on Tuesday morning, as his school had no power.

Later Tuesday morning, we got hammered (literally!) by a short, but hard hailstorm with hailstones big enough to make me put off my run until afternoon.

There were some hardy souls who got caught running at that time, like my significant other, Suzanne, who had no choice but to make the best of it, which she did.

I’ve been in that situation before and I know those hailstones hurt! I ended up running after the first two significant hailstorms, after the ice-covered streets had a chance to melt, as the sun came out to play.

Nevertheless, in the course of an hour run, another small round of hailstones fell, along with more rain. Despite all this, I was able to appreciate our weather, ranging in the mid-40 degree range.

Over last weekend, I was in New York City for the New York Comic Con (for work) and then in Connecticut to visit my parents. As cold and windy and rainy as it gets here on our worst days, we’re better off than the east coast on their average winter days.

The high all four days I was there was below freezing, and the strong winds cut right through clothing and to the bone, leaving pedestrians shivering despite multiple layers.

Suzanne and I went for a run at my high school, intending to stay on the track. It didn’t take long to find that the temperature in the 20s, combined with stiff headwinds that almost stopped us in our tracks, made for a totally miserable running experience.

Even though we were well bundled, knowing it would be very cold, the wind made it so bitterly cold that the small bits of our faces that were exposed were in danger of being frostbitten.

I ended up running on the trails around the high school, where I used to train and run cross country races. The slight protection of the leafless trees cut some of the wind chill factor (which hit 3 degrees that night, according to the television news), allowing for a workout that wasn’t excruciating, like it had been on the track.

(It was interesting to notice how stretches of my high school course didn’t seem as long as they did back then. Even my bedroom seemed bigger back then.)

When we got home to Grass Valley from the airport about midnight on Monday night, we found PG&E hard at work restoring power, along with garbage and recycling covering our street and not a single can on the whole road upright.

Despite all that, and some rain on the drive home, it felt almost balmy to us after the east coast. Those of you who travel to other parts of the country to visit relatives or for work in the winter know what I’m talking about.

We have a great deal to be thankful for, living where we do, as very rarely, if ever, do we have days that are just too miserable to run outdoors. (Most of those are due to fires and smoke in the summer.)

Something else we can be thankful for here in the Grass Valley/Nevada City area is the all-weather track at Nevada Union High School.

And there are many who use it as I’ve seen you there.

Those of us who ran on the NU track when it was dirt and rutted know what a tremendous improvement the new track has been, and it has contributed to an improved fitness level of our community.

Interestingly, I noticed that the track I ran on in high school, in a financially upscale community, was similar to ours in surface, only it was six lanes versus our eight. We have the better track!

The weather report has more cold, snowy/rainy days coming later this week, depending on how high up you live (and run).

It might help to keep in mind that, on days when the weather doesn’t entice you to head outside for a run, you could be living in New England and have it much worse.

I know it helps me appreciate even our “bad” days. And it may help, on those days, to be thankful that you can run at all.

See you out there!


Steve Bond is a local competitive runner who writes about runners and running for The Union. He’s had some truly memorable runs in hailstorms, a hurricane (into the eye of the storm!), and snowstorms. He does NOT intend to try running into a tornado with Toto, though! He can be reached at

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