Sunday, January 3, 2010

Gearing up

I woke up this morning to howling winds and very cold temperatures. It was 19f with a real feel between 1-4 (depending on which weather site, TV weatherman you listened to). I had some serious concerns about going out in such brutally cold weather, but I drew inspiration from Stubborn Triathlete's video of her 16 miler in Fargo, ND where it was -18f. She didn't give a shit if her eyebrows frosted over, all she cared about was getting her miles in.I thought, if she can run 16 miles when it's -18f outside, surely, I can run 8 or 9 miles in temperatures right around zero. So with that, I geared up and prepared for battle.

Most of you that run in cold temperatures know that the key to survival is wearing layers. The body does generate heat when you run so you want to feel slightly cold before you start running. I decided to go with 4 layers on top:

Layer 1: Under Armour Coldgear Compression Mock 

Layer 2: A basic Long sleeve tech-shirt

Layer 3: My Trusty Road Runner Sports Velocity Thermo 1/2 Zip

Layer 4: My Nike Fleece 1/2 Zip

I like wearing some layers with zippers. This way, if you warm up, you can lower the zipper to cool off. When you start feeling cold, just zip up the zipper. 

On bottom I wore 2 layers of running tights. First my Under Armour ColdGear Legging

Then my Adidas Adistar Long Tights

To keep the hands warm, I wore 2 layers of gloves. The Craft (on the left) are thin, and the Swix, (on the right are thicker)

On my head, I wore my Under Armour ColdGear Hood

.I love this piece of headwear. You see a lot of NFL players wear these when playing in cold weather. This hood is a technical balaclava/neck gaiter. It's very thin but it keeps all parts of the head and neck warm and dry.
Last but not least, the feet got my Smartwool PHD Running Socks

I can't say enough about these socks. Wool is not a material associated with running gear. But these bad boys kept my feet and toes warm and dry. If you do not have a pair of Smartwool socks, I suggest you get some.

I had a surprisingly good run. There is no such thing a flat run where I live. At some point I will have to tackle a few hills. My slowest mile split was 9:08. This came on one of the later miles which was uphill into the wind. Not fun. I did 9.33 miles in 1:20:10 (8:35/mi). When I got home, I stripped everything off and put on some dry and warm clothes. I made myself a cup of hot tea (I'm not a coffee drinker) and started my recovery.

Call me crazy, insane, meshuga, whatever but there is something invigorating about completing a run in such harsh conditions. I don't know what the rest of winter will bring, but if this is the worst Mother Nature has to dish out, I think I can take it.

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