I will admit that I’m a fair weather friend. It seems that no matter what my good intentions are, if the weather is too hot or too cold I do NOT go outside for a workout. What this means is that I tend to skip a lot of workouts for half of each year.
No more! I have to quit being a whimp so I’ve set a goal to continue running three or four days a week, OUTSIDE whenever humanly possible. So I’ve been trying to figure out how to do that without losing any appendages to frostbite. My friend, Ange, will laugh at my feeble attempts at dressing appropriately for running in cold weather. So, you’ll probably want to ignore what I have to say and just head on over to the Cowgirl’s website and see how it’s supposed to be done.
My normally scheduled run day was supposed to be Saturday, but it didn’t even get up to 20. Sunday was supposed to be mid-30s so I figured I would swap out run days and head outside on Sunday. As luck would have it, it was 26 degrees and snowing on Sunday. But, I set a goal to continue running through the winter, so I started bundling up to head out.
First off, have you ever noticed that running shoes are MESH!? Whose idea was this? I’m sure there’s a really good reason for it, but mesh means that my toes were going to be wet. Unless you’re a genius like I am.
Not pretty. But it worked.
I put on yoga pants to be warm against my legs, then I put some sweat pants on over the top that would break the wind and keep the wet snow off me. Then a long sleeved T-shirt. (I’m going to need to invest in the sweat wicking Ts because right now I just have regular ol’ T-shirts. You know…the kind that I play volleyball in.) Over that was my hoodie.
The whole time I was getting all bundled up, Jake was going INSANE. He knew I was heading out and he wanted to go! He’s old, so he won’t go for a very long walk at all, and God forbid you ask him to run. But I thought he would be a good companion on a warm up walk. So I took him for a walk.
It was during this walk that I realized I was not going to be able to breathe because the air was so cold. So when I got home to put Jake back into the house I put a bandana around my face. It was NOT attractive, but it was effective.
I did figure out as I was running that the bandana made me feel a little claustrophobic. Weird, since I was in the great out doors, but having something feeling like it’s restricting my breathing (even though it was NOT restricting my breathing) made it feel a little claustrophobic.
Then I went here:
I was supposed to go four miles on Sunday and by my calculations, down to the lake, twice around it, then back home was supposed to be four miles. It wasn’t. I’ll need to do three laps around the lake (two miles). That will be a little longer than four, but that’s OK. Although, it really doesn’t matter because my next long run is supposed to be five miles. So I need to figure out where the hell I’m supposed to go that will equal five miles. A task for a different day. I have until Saturday to figure it out.
When I was putting on the bandana I wondered if it was the right choice. It was that or using a long scarf. I was glad I went the bandana route because when I’d start feeling like the walls were closing in on me I could pull the bandana down away from my mouth and breathe the crisp (read: fucking cold) air for a little bit. I’m also a spitter (gross, sorry). I get horrible phlegm when I run and it was pretty easy to pull it down so I could spit, then be able to put it back up around my mouth and nose.
By the time I got home my bandana was drenched from my steamy breath. Very attractive.
I was wet and snow covered, but even without a waterproof outer layer (which I REALLY need to invest in), I was dry at the skin level and managed to stay warm during my run. I will call it a success. I can run in the cold weather. I won’t die. And I will work towards getting some appropriate cold weather running gear. For now, this worked.