The names “Tundra Running” for my blog and my twitter handle, “Sisu_Runner” both reflect aspects of running that I can relate too–the bragging rights earned by running through a Wisconsin (and more recently, minnysota) winter, my Finnish heritage, and my love of the Green Bay Packers.
While I don’t actually live on the Tundra, it still can be a little unpleasant, weather-wise, to run outside all year but that’s what I prefer to do.
Winter running has some great highs to go along with the low temperatures. My absolute favorite running surface is a nice crunchy ice layer above a inch or two of snow. It’s not a fast surface, each step robs your leg of energy but is easy on the joints and is accoustically rewarding. Crunch, crunch, crunch. Being the first one to break trail after a getting several inches of snow, is a taxing, strength-building workout that provides terrible stats but excellent value. Or when you are not the first out in a light dusting, “tracking” someone else’s run can provide an interesting, even if imaginary, adventure. Running on (frozen) water, leaving messages in the snow, and snotcicles are tricks I can pull off only in the winter.
The “Tundra Running” phrase also pays homage to both my love of The Green Bay Packers who play on the “frozen tundra” of Lambeau Field and the Sami portion of my Finnish heritage. The Sami people live in Northern Finland in almost-tundra environments. And of course, there have been several “Flying Finns” in endurance running, including Paavo Nurmi, Taisto Mäki, and Steve Prefontaine’s nemasis, Lasse Virén. I suggest reading Finding Sisu by Adam W. Chase to find out more about Virén.