Death by…

A. Boredom
B. Alcohol Poisoning
C. Running

When in doubt always pick C. Isn’t that what they say?

Grocery stores had sold out of milk and bread since Thursday. Gold was being traded for shovels. Beer was in dangerously short supply. Everywhere there were whispers of the approaching storm. Perfect strangers bonding over talks of how many inches would accumulate, if there were enough cans of beans at home, and if indeed this was the end.  The Blizzard of 2010 was about to show it’s fury and we were ready to endure.

It started snowing around noon on Friday. Flakes, still too minute to stick, had already spread panic as people abandoned their offices to get home before the Metro stopped. I sat in my cubicle, laughing at the bevy of people running about on the streets. What’s wrong with them, I thought. It’s just snow. But of course, it wasn’t just snow. It was a Blizzard. By the time I decided to leave for home, the streets were empty and the ground was covered in a thick white sheet. The flakes were now getting fatter, wetter, and faster. Why was I not panicking? Why had I not gone to the grocery store? Why was I still considering to go for a run once I got home? Indeed, something was wrong with me.

The only thing that kept me inside that night was the lack of clean running pants and a bottle of Bulleit Bourbon.  I did a quick 3.5 on the treadmill before knocking on my neighbor’s door for some company. I was alone and bored at home, now the two of us were bored together. The Metro had quit early and there was no where to go on a Friday night. We sat and twiddled our thumbs and drank to the fury.

By dawn on Saturday, DC had transformed into Narnia. The quiet was eerie but fascinating. I again considered going for a run, but the pants were still unclean. Instead I paced about in the apartment trying to find something to do. After an hour or two I couldn’t take it anymore. I put on the dirty pants, my boots, and headed out. At first I shoveled my car just because I needed something to do. Then, I trudged in 2 feet of snow walked over to my old roommate’s apartment (they had lost power), then to Geeta’s and then down a few blocks to Annie and Steph’s. The storm had transformed me into a social butterfly.

Sunday I awoke to the kinda bright that only happens if you are dying or reaching nirvana. It had finally stopped snowing and the landscape was glowing, I saw tiny figures moving about from my balcony and decided that it was finally time to go for that run. I strapped on my shoes and headed down Beach Drive. RCP Trail was hiding under 27 inches of snow so I ran in the middle of the road.

Alas, I wasn’t the only one trying to rid the boredom. Staying cooped in for 2 days, most of the population of North Bethesda had gone either nuts or permanently drunk. Despite the terrible roads, they thought it was a good idea to drive around in their civics and get some fresh air. Beach Drive isn’t even a main road, yet people were sliding driving around at full speed. WTF. Furthermore, the sun was working it’s magic on the snow laden branches. Ice was dropping from over 30 feet in large chunks. Occasionally, a large branch would come down with it. More than once, plow trucks came around forcing me to step to the “side”. The side being non-existent, I would climb the mound of snow, then fall in it and then burrow my way out.

I ran a little over 7 miles. It was slow and painful. Once home I was happy to not have died. What a way to go!
If you think I am crazy to consider running in this weather, please read my neighbor, the Red Fox’s musings here

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Chika Gujarathi is a freelance writer and a mother of three from Raleigh, NC. She writes for national and local publications about lifestyle, travel, books, and of course, motherhood! Her most current project involves illustrating and publishing a children’s Hindi book. When not adventuring with her family in the minivan, you can find her riding the streets of Raleigh on her beloved bike Linus.

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