Do not attempt to snowshoe with your shoes crossed like this. I did and it didn't work so well.

Do not attempt to snowshoe with your shoes crossed like this. I did and it didn’t work so well.

Colby and I pride ourselves on finding the bright side in just about any situation – especially workouts and races.

It poured during our run…but we saw a rainbow! Squeeeee!

It was 8000 degrees out for the race, but they had cold watermelon at the end!

It sure was icy, but what a great way to work on our balance!

We are sincere and earnest in our attempts at positivity, but honestly, I even annoy myself sometimes.

Well, I’m here today to recap a workout that was PURE SUCKAGE. Pure. Suckage. From beginning to bitter cold end. None of that Pollyanna crap for this adventure.

On Wednesday I attempted snowshoeing for the first time. I got my snowshoes in early January and have been waiting for it to snow so I could try them out. Since I am signed up for the Peak Snowshoe Challenge on March 1, I thought it might be a good idea to learn how to use snowshoes (ya think?).

We got 10-12 inches of fresh powdaaah on Tuesday, so the snow conditions seemed perfect. I scoped out a local trail, packed up my snowshoes and enough layers to scale Mt. Everest, and headed out, excited for my new challenge. So naïve.

Once I arrived at the trail, excitement quickly turned to frustration and then despondence. And I never rebounded. No rainbows or watermelon. A freaking unicorn sighting couldn’t have turned this experience around.

First, it was really cold. Really, really cold. I’m generally of the (annoying) “no bad weather, only bad clothes!” mindset when it comes to workouts, but Sweet Jesus, there are limits. I think it was negative googolplex with the wind chill. It certainly felt that way. Maybe colder. I was layered up enough on top to deal with the cold, but my feet were bitterly cold.

Since I am hoping to be able to run in the Peak race, I tried wearing my running shoes with the snowshoes. Bad, bad idea to wear my light, vented running shoes. Holy airflow. What makes them perfect for running in the heat (vents! Lightweight breathable fabric!) makes them horrible for trudging through the snow in sub-zero temps. Duh. I can’t even believe I needed to learn this the hard way. I think the polar vortex has affected my brain.

I don’t have any suitable boots or trail shoes, so I’m going to have to figure this one out before I head out again. Even a toe warmer would help. Or I could wait until it breaks 20 degrees to attempt snowshoeing in running shoes again. Just a thought.

I also had massive trouble with my bindings. So much for the quick-one-pull bindings. The people in the demo video were able to tighten them with a quick flick of the wrist. Not me. I couldn’t get them tightened properly, so my left shoe was too tight (digging in to the outside of my foot) and my right one tightened unevenly, leaving my foot in the snowshoe at an angle. The angle was perfectly situated to make my right snowshoe smack against the left at regular intervals, no matter how much I tried to straighten my foot. Made for some nice faceplants in the cold, cold snow and some very colorful language. My apologies to the two cross country skiers who were using the same trail and probably didn’t expect to hear a Quentin Tarantino-style monologue on their morning glide.

And the biggest issue was that it was so darn cold, I just couldn’t bear to take my gloves off and fix the bindings. I knew I’d never recover from the cold hands.

So I trudged on. Crookedly.

About 1 mile in, I realized that, sadly, the cold was in fact NOT my biggest problem. Nor were the incorrectly adjusted bindings. Noticing that the ankle strap of my right binding felt loose, I looked down to see that the ankle strap clip had broken right off and my strap was waving in the wind. At this point, I looked around to see if Alan Funt was waiting behind a tree with a camera crew, but he was nowhere to be seen. Nope. This one was all on me.

Sore, cold, and struggling to walk in a straight line, I headed back up the trail to my car and called it a day.

So much for the great Snowshoe Debut of 2014.


13 thoughts on “!@#&*!$?

  1. Well it’s about goddamn time we had a failure. Christ. People are going to think we piss rainbows. Clearly. It’s not all puppy montages and unicorns. (I say as I hack up a lung. What did I smoke a carton of Pall Malls? I hate you Flu.) Meh. We’re human T. Shit happens. And it ain’t always pretty.

  2. Welp…that sounds abysmal. I normally like to be optimistic about things as well, but nothing about what you just said sounds in any way fun. I’m sorry you had such a miserable experience! Maybe next time will be better? Hopefully?

  3. Pingback: Le Snowshoe – Part Deux | It's A Marathon AND A Sprint

      • That cold was brutal. I asked about the snow because it seemed that the snow storms were hitting down here in CT and missing up north (says the religious reader of ski reports in VT)! Wasn’t sure where you were falling on the snow line…

      • We’ve had some snow. Mostly smaller storms that drop 6-8″. When people don’t shovel the sidewalk in front of their house, you have to run in the street.
        One good thing about my injury is that I’ve missed most of these frigid runs.

    • Ummm…I still haven’t gotten past the fact that I signed up for a snowshoe challenge. Colby found a 2 for 1 groupon deal for it and voila! We were signed up. Probably taking bargain hunting too far.
      My next attempt was much better ( how could it NOT be???)

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