Random running moments…is that Ryan Gosling?

Most runners have a collection of random running stories to share.

Me? I must have random happenstance juju, as I have too many to count.

I’ve seen snakes, dodged a family of deer and been caught in a horrendous downpour in what was eerily similar to the woods in Oz. I ran into a flower shop delivery van (ouch) and was nearly clipped by a distracted contractor who then flipped me off. (grrr)

And I’m pretty sure I witnessed more than one drug deal while running along a nearby river trail.

I ran alongside Amish men and women, still wearing their plain clothes. I ran laps around Sydney Harbour, including the famed Opera House and bridge. I ran around the Hollywood Reservoir and along the carriage trails of Acadia National Park drinking in the incredible vistas.

Part of what I love about running is that it gives you a whole new view of the world.

Often, as you watch the world unfold, you encounter the unexpected.

So I thought I’d share my top random running moments with you, a la Golden Girls style.

– January, 2012, Rochester N.Y. in a heavy snowfall. I’m running with several of my regular running partners on an 8-mile loop that felt like the death of me as we trudged through piles of snow. On the backside of the loop, our group ran on the shoulder of a main road. The sidewalk was buried and we wanted to make sure we stayed upright.

Cue the snowplow.

It was headed straight for us. And to the driver’s defense, we were in the road and it was quite snowy. But that plow, it wasn’t slowing down or veering to the side. So we dove head first into the snow bank. The plow went by, the driver smiled and waved. We got up, brushed ourselves off and finished that run!

snowplow runAfter the snowplow “incident” with pals Audra and Gary

– August 2012, Central Park in NYC and it’s nearly 90 by 7 am. I snoozed my alarm one too many times and started my 12-miler later than planned. It was hot and horribly humid and I was in town to visit with Meri and take in a show.

I stopped at every water fountain I spotted and was seriously considering climbing the fence to the reservoir to dunk my head. The run wasn’t going well, the hills at the north end of the park made my legs feel like lead andĀ  all runners on the road passed me as though I were standing still.

About 5 miles in, I saw him.

I was running at the south end of Central Park, staring toward the hi-rises in Columbus Circle, thinking about how bad the movie Cloverfield really was.

Ryan Gosling ran past me in a pastel T-shirt and dark shorts. Our eyes locked for a second and on we went.

Wait a minute? I thought. What’s Ryan Lochte doing in New York? He should be in London prepping for his next big race at the summer games.

I shook my head and looked back over my shoulder. That wasn’t Ryan Lochte. That was Ryan Gosling.

I laughed. Still running, I looked down and thought what a sweaty mess I was. I laughed again, rather loudly.

And then I missed a turn, sending me back toward New York’s East Side instead of north. I laughed again and shook my fist. Gosling, you distracted me! Yep, people stared.

The run itself was awful. I was slow, overheated and thirsty. But the eye candy, that was real.

vicscopesSearching for Ryan Gosling in Central Park (not really, just posing!)

What’s the most unusual thing, or ransom person, you’ve seen while running? Tell us about it in the comments! And we’d love to see photos via twitter!

And most importantly, should I have turned around to chase Gosling down?

Recipe Box: Snow Ice Cream

Flakes, flurries, snow.

If you haven’t lived with snow the last few days, you certainly heard about it from your frostbitten friends.

It’s been a frigid few days with heaps of snow in the northeast. More than a foot of snow blanketed my town last week, which meant shoveling my driveway three times in less than a day. And let’s not even talk about how the temps dropped to single digits with wind chills around -15. (Word on the street is that it will be even COLDER today with FEET of snow to cover parts of western NY. I’m in denial. Join me there, please.)

In all, we got about 15-16 inches in my yard last week. And that meant lots of fresh snow to make a tasty snack…. Snow ice cream!

20140104-194330.jpgThat’s right. It’s ice cream made of snow. SNOW!

The recipe was shared by a friend and former colleague Marketta, who writes a column for the Democrat and Chronicle and writes her own blog, Simply Faithful. Last year, during a big snowfall, she shared her family recipe for snow ice cream.

Snow ice cream?

I’d never heard of such a thing before. My boss assured me it was real Midwestern treat. He also relished stories about how he enjoyed homemade snow ice cream as a child.

I printed out Marketta’s recipe and waited for some snow.

Winter ended without another huge snowfall and I forgot all about it until last week. And let me tell you, snow ice cream completely lived up to the hype. Marketta generously encouraged me to share her family’s recipe.

Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

Marketta’s snow ice cream
– 1 gallon of fresh snow
– 1 cup sugar
– 1 can condensed milk
– 1 tsp. vanilla

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I collected snow from my backyard, away from trees or other debris.

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Using the same stock pot I’d taken into the snow, I combined all of the ingredients and stirred them together.

Keep stirring until mixture has consistency of ice cream. Add milk if it seems too dry.

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I know this looks a bit like mashed potatoes, but trust me. It’s fantastic!

Eat as much as your can stand on the first go-round. I froze what was left with plans to eat the rest the next day and it became a big sweet block of ice. But not to worry, it was still edible. It just needed to thaw for about 15 minutes before I could serve it up.

Have your ever heard of snow ice cream? Have you tried it? Would you?