Saturday, January 10, 2015

Coming in from the cold

That's fine, Elsa! I did enjoy my run.
Today I took my run outside in the frigid subzero cold that we are currently experiencing. Twice this week I ran on my treadmill, and the thought of one more indoor run was more than I could fathom. Plus, my cleaning lady buried my treadmill in underneath all my family's shoes. Yes, the struggle is real. The other thing that happened is that my friend Sara aka Cheesy Runner Mom challenged Karen aka Trading in My Heels and me to run outside today. Never one to let a friend down, I checked the forecast, saw that the sun would be shining, and committed to an outdoor run.

Does this happen at your house?
When I got up this morning it was -2 degrees, but the sun was indeed shining. The trees weren't moving, and even though the weather forecasters were predicting doom and gloom aka bitter cold wind chills, I decided to honor my commitment and prepared for a cold run. After all, the garbage men were picking up garbage this week, right? I saw my mailman delivering the mail, sans gloves. And those poor schoolchildren had to brave the cold and go to school.  In my day, we had to walk 2 miles to school, uphill both ways...



I decided to take it to the bike path because it would be close to 6 miles round trip and I wanted to avoid running on the roads as much as possible, for safety reasons. I started preparing myself to run outside. For Christmas I received a North Face Thermoball jacket, which is supposed to keep you warm. I loved the color! But I was a little skeptical when I held it up. The thing weighs nothing! Actually it weighs 285 gm. But it feels like tissue paper, it's so thin. But the insulation is called Primaloft and it is designed to hold in your body heat. The jacket is also water resistant. Today would be the test. I put on a long bra top, a long sleeve base top over that, and the jacket. I wore my windproof Athleta tights with Smartwool knee highs. The ensemble was complete with a neoprene face mask and my Saucony gloves with mitten covers. I headed to the bike path.

Me and my new favorite jacket!
The path was snow packed, but traction was not an issue, even without my YakTrax. One of the first things I noticed was that even though there was a light wind, I didn't feel it at all. I started to warm up right away. Because it was so cold, I knew my iPhone wasn't going to work after a while, so I stopped on the way to snap my runfie. I stop at this little pond quite often, and it's always pretty in the background. I was shocked to see the icicles forming on my face mask and eyelashes so early in the run. I was so toasty in my jacket, I guess I didn't realize how cold it was! With the wind at my back, my behind (nalgas for you Spanish speakers) was a little chilled. And I was right about the iPhone because it stopped working at mile 2. I continued my run without music.

Clearly, this was not the issue today. But this was the screen I got.
At the turnaround, I checked my Garmin. Thankfully it was still working. I put my iPhone in my pants pocket, hoping to warm it back up. I decided to run the rest of the way without my music. I wanted to pick up the pace a little bit. The path slopes slightly downhill and the wind was at my back, so I knew I could push it a bit. There were a few slick spots but overall, I felt steady. I was also getting sweaty, believe it or not! I pulled the mitten covers back and ran with just gloves. When I turned into the wind, I was still amazed that I couldn't feel it through my jacket!

I got home and my phone was recovered enough to take some frozen selfies. I was still warm, and as I discovered once I got inside, very sweaty. Who knew?

In past winters, I had a shell from Mountain Hardwear that I used to run in. It wasn't insulated but it kept the wind out. But I still got cold when I ran in it. In comparison, his new coat is amazing. I was reluctant to run in what looked like a ski jacket, but it is so light, you don't even feel it. I am thrilled with it, and now I have absolutely no excuse to run outside in the winter. If North Face wants me to endorse the jacket, I'll do it. If I was Oprah, I'd name the Thermoball one of my favorite things and give one to everyone I know.



Well...there is this...

I will be running inside 2 days/week as part of my half marathon training this winter. Because of unpredictable path conditions, my speedwork will be done on the treadmill. I will also be doing a paced run for an hour one day/week, to help me with heat conditioning. It's going to be hard to prepare for that Florida humidity, but I'm hoping that running inside, without a fan blowing on me, will help me acclimate somewhat!


And finally, if you're feeling cold, just listen to some Bob Marley and feel the chill just melt away. I heard this song on the radio yesterday and it was just perfect!

***I'm linking up with Tara at ReadingNRunning for the Weekend Update!!!***


23 comments :

  1. Wendy, you're a bad-nalga$$. Love the jacket and the color. I'm halfin' it
    tomorrow in Mobile. Hoping for good weather.

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    1. I know you won't need my jacket there, at least! Good luck tomorrow! I'm looking forward to your race report!

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  2. Funny we have a pile of shoes just like that! I got that same thermoball jacket and I have not run it but have been wearing it as a reg jacket. I don't think it's as warm as the traditional North face jackets. I could try running in it this week and see.

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    1. I wouldn't want one that's too warm and that's why I think it's perfect for running! I was almost too warm, if you can believe it! Let me know what you think!

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  3. I have that same jacket and LOVE it!! IT doesn't get cold enough for me to run in it here, but I wear it in the cold early mornings while I'm instructing my bootcamp. I need another layer on windy days, but it handles cold perfectly. Glad you got out in the world for your run, that's always better than staying inside.

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    1. Absolutely! Glad to hear you like the jacket too!

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  4. Woo hoo for the new jacket keeping you toasty warm! :)

    I have been putting my phone inside a glove in my coat pocket and it's not getting too cold! Crazy that they can't stand the cold, right? (I did have my iPhone 3 (which I use for music) out in the cold in December and it shorted out, ha ha!)

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    1. Some suggested to me on FB to put my iPhone in my SPIbelt inside my tights. I think I'm going to try that tomorrow!

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  5. Lovin' that jacket and great job getting out there. I keep my IPhone in my HipSsister and it's held strong through extreme heat, cold, and rain.

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  6. I love your dedication. I always find myself smiling after reading your blog. :) xo

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    1. Awww...thanks! It's not that hard to get moving, once I get out there!

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  7. wow! you are amazing! that is some huge dedication to running! this Florida girl is speechless!

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    1. Runners run, right? You've got that brutal heat to deal with...

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  8. I am so jealous of that jacket :) And your dedication is so very inspiring. I'm glad you are getting in some great runs! Gotta love your iPhone said it needed to cool down ;)

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    1. Of course, now I have no excuses, with the jacket and all...

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  9. Wow, my phone has done that in the heat but never in the cold. With that said, I'm such a wimp when it comes to the cold. Unless it is above 30 degrees, you won't find me out there. I'd much rather hit the treadmill. I was actually going to try running in the cold this year but ever since I got sick the cold air does not help with my lungs, I end up in a coughing fit. Hopefully that will stop soon, but not yet!

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    1. I sure hope this whole cough thing passes for you. What a rough winter you've had!

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  10. My iPhone stopped working in the cold a few weeks ago and I FREAKED out! First time it has happened to me....I thought I broke it! Way to go...frozen eyelashes and no music? Hardcore!

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    1. I've done it before...I can run without music but do I want to? Nope.

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  11. I can't believe that was the message you got on your iPhone!! Crazy, right? It's hard for me to imagine running in temps cold enough to shut my phone down...good grief. We need to give your cleaning lady a lesson in running protocol, right? HA! This picture is priceless...I'm so glad that you're running gear worked out well for you; that's quite a testimony for your jacket. Well, it sounds like you have a good plan for your training; weather be damned! I'm excited for you, and thanks so much for linking up with the blog again this week; hope it's a good Monday!

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    1. Thanks for hosting Tara! I'm tucking my spibelt in my tights now, thanks to a reader suggestion, and life is once again good!

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