Earlier this week, I posted this picture on my FB page after a -30F windchill 5 mile run:

This elicited a response from one of my poker buddies, “How is treadmill not the obv play here??”

I responded tongue-in-cheek: “boring / no risk of losing body parts”

I was thinking about this whole topic in more detail a couple of days later during a run at sunrise, also in quite cold conditions. I know this particular friend is a big enthusiast of fishing and camping in northern Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area. To build an analogy, I’d like to ask him the following question. Why travel many hours in a car, then canoe out to a remote location where there is a much greater risk of injury and lack of emergency services, when instead you could just go fishing off the docks at one of the city lakes?

To me (and I’m guessing to him as well), the reasons are pretty straight-forward. It’s all about briefly getting away from the everyday man-made landscape, enjoying the beauty of the natural world, and getting a little hint of excitement and adventure as well.

Here are a couple views I get to take in on the trail near my house:

Monday: 5mi out and back towards New London
Hit the snowmobile trails out and back towards New London. This route is fairly flat and straight. Was running on snowmobile tracks with ~1″ of give. This was the -30F windchill run.

Tuesday: 6mi on the CRT.

Wednesday: 3mi on the CRT.

Friday: 4mi on Green Lake
Decided to switch it up a bit and hit the ICE! It is about 2/3 mile from my house to nearest Green Lake access. I am definitely thinking about putting together a sled for ice fishing gear! The Kahtoolas performed flawlessly on the ice – zero slippage. Here is a shot I took at the turn around point. I entered from the shoreline in the distance:

Saturday: 6.8mi at Sibley State Park
First time running at Sibley in the snow. 2-3″ of snow makes the hills much more challenging. Did a mental tally of the vertical. It is approximately 525′ per loop.

25 miles
Vert: 2,010′