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cold weather running, florida style

January 21, 2009

When I set out today, the weather guy was warning us about the near-freezing temperatures and telling everyone to “grab an extra sweater” before heading out.

Here’s what I wore for my scheduled six-miler: my long and lean tank from Target (check it out on the Gear page), my old sweats (I think they’re from Walmart), my Reebok long-sleeve tech top, chosen because it’s the snuggest I have and would let in the least wind–it was gusting up to 10mph.

Over that, a vest I picked up on sale from Swix–it’s really too big for me, but it was an extra layer over my core I thought I’d be thankful for, and had a high neck, which none of my other pieces had.

Over that, a jacket from Target’s C9 line, light, but when zipped, wind-proof.

My wicking cap from Nike, and over that, the toboggan the Boss bought for me years ago when we visited San Francisco and went to a frigid Giants game. It’s about the only item of clothing that still fits from those “fat” years, since your head doesn’t change size when you drop sixty or seventy pounds.

I also had the Boss’ warm gloves, which, in retrospect, were way too big and too warm for the conditions. Socks would probably have done better.

So, mile 1, all layers on. Felt great. Tough. Florida drivers would go by and think, Wow, look at her, she’s running. Coldest day in three years and she’s out! Running!

Mile 2, jacket off, gloves off. What was I thinking? It’s 36, not 6!

Mile 2.2, gloves still off, but jacket back on, unzipped. What was I thinking, this is my Southern heart we’re talking about, and it is just a few degrees above freezing. And windy.

Mile 2.5, vest unzipped. I feel great. Let’s do it again tomorrow.

Mile 3, vest zipped, pace slowing. Heading into the wind. It’s friggin’ cold. Gloves back on.

Mile 4, jacket off. Going through a more residential area gives protection from the wind. Gloves are now on and off every half-mile, and I’m considering using them as tissues.

Miles 5 and 6, the wardrobe is unchanged, save the gloves are now a pain. If they’re in my hand, my fingers feel like ice. If they’re on my hands, they’re too warm. No middle ground. The jacket is a belt around my waist, and my nose is running faster than I am.

In all, it was a nice run, the kind I hope to call to mind in the evil miles of the marathon. If I can get myself out of bed when it’s thirty-four degrees outside to go running, and run into the wind, it’s because I really, really want this. My pace was awful, my legs didn’t feel good, but today, I was bigger than all those things.

My hamstrings are really bothering me, which is factoring more heavily into my maybe taking tomorrow off or running less than the scheduled 8 than the fact that they’re telling us tomorrow will feel about 10 degrees cooler than it did today.

One big source of discomfort was my runny nose, and that was totally my fault because I knew on Saturday, when it was maybe 50 when I set out, that my nose acts up in cooler temps. And the gloves. They’re just wrong for me. If I do run tomorrow, I won’t wear those again. I’ll just run with socks on my hands or something.

Eight on the schedule tomorrow. Might be wiser to take a rest day or scale it back. But wisdom isn’t my strength as a runner . . .

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 22, 2009 7:07 pm

    Sounds like a good run. Getting the gear right is hard. Had to laugh at your runny nose comments — that plagues me in cooler weather.

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