Yesterday, after I had completed my teaser entry on the carnival procession in the valley of Lötschen (Lötschental in German) we had attended a day earlier, I was free to go out for a run. Unfortunately, I had left it until a bit late and there was no longer a bright sun shining outside. However, I could not resist the call of the snow. I opted for Mauvernay rather than Sauvabelin because I suspected that the snow would be deeper at Mauvernay and I also wanted to avoid the many dogs I feared their owners would be taking for a walk at Sauvabelin as it was a Sunday afternoon. I decided to do so despite the steep uphill course to Mauvernay and the possibility that I would be running on pavements that would have been cleared of any snow already in the morning (and it had not snowed during the day).
The countryside of Epalinges, a commune above Lausanne, with the Swiss and French Chablais mountains visible in the background. Each time I see this expanse of land, I hope that it will not become a suburb of Lausanne and I entertain wild fantasies about the owner of Ikea (who has been a long-time resident of the commune) using some his immense wealth to buy up as much land as he can to prevent what looks likely to become such an unfortunate outcome given the trend towards residential areas eating up the Jorat countryside …
As I had suspected, a good 5.0km of my 5.5km-long run uphill was on asphalt that had been cleared of snow, this stretch near the golf course of Lausanne being one of the few exceptions. I really love the feeling of my feet crunching into the snow and yesterday I had to wait until I had passed this stretch to really get to enjoy this feeling again on my run.
As on Thursday, a patch of ice I had not seen sent me flying (fortunately, I was able to cushion the fall with my right arm) while running downhill to Sallaz on my way to Sauvabelin at about 5:40 pm as I was not wearing my Yaktrax soles, I decided to play it safe and put them on (in addition to some gaiters) just before going into the woods through the bottom part of Chêne-Gland before reaching Bois-Clos.
Once at Bois-Clos, my feet were almost able to wallow in the snow: there was so much around. The amount of snow around somehow also made the whole surroundings brighter than they would have been otherwise and thus delayed the onset of dusk.
This is probably the reason why there were still several sledgers around on Plaine de Mauvernay when I got there although it was already 5:36 pm.
I had come to enjoy the snow and would of course not leave the area before having done one lap in the forest (approximately 3.8km). Once I had done so, I felt that it would be a pity to go back home having run only one lap and I decided that I would do one more lap but run faster.
Which is what I did … and hence it explains why I took hardly any photos during my second lap. Dusk had started to settle firmly and, although I was carrying a small LED, solar powered torch, I did not want to run in the dark through a deep forest for too long and therefore I hastened my pace.
I had seen foxes and deers on previous runs in these woods … so I did not want to find myself head to head with some wild beast 😉
By the time I had completed my second lap and I was thus about to leave Mauvernay, it was almost completely dark (at 6:15 pm). However, I still had about 5.5 kilometres to run. Fortunately, the torchlight of my small lamp would be sufficient to ensure that I would not tread on any treacherous patches of ice lurking in the dark.
I completed the 18.7km of my run in 2 hours and 6 minutes (for 1,285 calories burnt), which is still a decent time given that one cannot run as fast in the snow … With some 10 centimetres of snow having fallen in Geneva since last night (I am posting this entry from the computer I use in the office) and with more snow forecast to fall tomorrow, I should be able to run in the snow in Geneva tomorrow (I am still contemplating whether or not to do so now during my lunch break as I did not bring my Yaktrax with me).
Other entries on running in winter near Lausanne