Monday, December 15, 2008

Baby, It's Cold Outside

There's no getting around it: it's cold outside. So, what's a runner - who hates treadmills with a hot passion - to do?

Suck it up, gain some toughness points, wear the right gear, and go running anyway. Oh yeah, and share some tips with my fellow runners.

When I went out for my run tonight, the temperature was 9 degrees - with a wind chill factor of 10 below.

First, I put on a base layer:

My sports bra is Target's C9 (the official running outfitter of Betsy) and cost about $15. The tights are Asics Legato, which my brother got for me for my birthday. I believe they cost about $30. They are quite warm, and on most cold days are sufficient. The socks are by DeFeet, and I got them for free last February when I ran the Chili Chase. They're not the socks of my dreams, but they aren't bad.

Next, a long sleeved wicking shirt and a pair of fleece pants:

The shirt is by Asics and cost about $30. It is awesome. Besides being cute, see the little white holes in the sleeve? I can hook my thumb through there, which prevents a gap between my sleeve and my glove. How cool is that? The pants are by Under Armour and cost about $45. They are warm, comfy, and have a zippered pocket, plus they are roomy enough to wear the tights underneath if I need to.

We're still not dressed yet:

The vest is by the official running outfitter of Betsy, Target's C9. I probably paid about $20 for it, and at the time I really wasn't sure how much I would like it. Silly me - it is one of my favorite pieces of running clothing. It really helps me stay just that little extra bit warmer, it looks cute, and it has a ton of pockets. Then, we've got two pair of gloves, both of which I got for free from races. Yep, sometimes I wear both of them, and tonight was that kind of night. The blue thing? That's a Survivor buff that I got as a gift when I attended the finale party of Survivor: All-Stars. It's a handy little item that can be a headband, a tube top, pretty much anything. In the winter, I wear it around my neck, and when it's especially cold, pull it over my face. The only drawback is that eventually, the moisture from my breath gets it wet, but for shorter runs, it's nice to have. The hat is from the Des Moines Marathon, a great little souvenir that I believe was $10.

Speaking of race memorbilia...

I next put on my windbreaker, which is made by Brooks and has the Quad Cities Marathon logo on it. I paid $40 for it and I love it. It's lightweight, has plenty of pockets, and is, of course, red.


Finally, safety is important, and when it's dark and icy out, runners need to be extra careful:

My vest is by Jogalite, cost about $15, and is reflective. I always wear it when I run at night and am working to convince myself that it's so uncool that it actually turns the corner to be cool again. That really, unless I was a hardcore athlete, I would not own something so dorky. Play along with me. The little red thing is a clip-on light by Nathan. It was $8, and I wear it clipped to my hat to make me extra visible. Finally, attached to my shoes are Get a Grip Ice Joggers, which were $20 at Road Runner Sports. They are rubber, stretch over my shoes, and have small spikes in them to give a better grip on snow and ice. This was the first time I've used them, and I liked them a lot. I felt like my footing was a bit more sure, and they weren't obnoxious when I did run across a cleared area.

Altogether all of this gear set me back $233, which doesn't count my shoes themselves. On a cold winter night's run, I was comfortable and felt safe. $233 worth of running clothes isn't cheap, but it's a lot less expensive than a gym membership or a treadmill.

Best of all, running in the winter is a wonderful experience. First of all, anyone who sees you thinks that you are hardcore and is impressed by you, always a good thing. But better still, it's a beautiful and peaceful time to be out running. It's quiet, the snow sparkles, and there is no better way to see the Christmas lights in my neighborhood. Plus, you get to leave the house looking just this crazy:

14 comments:

Frayed Laces said...

you look like a burglar crossed with a lite brite!

Julianne said...

That is some seriously hard core running gear you got on there! Love the layers!

Karen said...

all I can say is wow... you are hard core!

Roisin said...

Oh I'm so jealous! That's usually me out there in the cold!!! I'm going to have to look into those Get a Grip thingies...I've only ever seen Yak Tracks before, and heard they were terrible unless your entire route was iced/snowed over.

Lama Mama said...

Girlfriend, you are totes hardcore! Much admiration and points for craziness coming to you!

I gotta try out those Target sports bras!

RooBabs said...

Great post- love the pics! I am also a huge fan of the C9 Target gear (I think they are my official outfitter, too). I have that same vest, except in green and gray. I originally bought it as clothing (on clearance for $6), but now that I'm running outside, it's totally my favorite (mostly because of the pockets)!!

Thanks for the info about Get a Grip, too. Running in slippery, snowy conditions is new to me, so I'm researching foot traction options.

I love that running in cold outdoor weather makes us hard core. ; )

Shilingi-Moja said...

Great post. Serious information presented in a light-hearted way. Not only do you "look" hardcore, you **are** hardcore.

Lisa said...

All I have to say is Brrrrrr. Man, I am really a wimp. Living in Southern CA, I feel like it is too cold if it dips into the 40's. I am going to run up in Oregon next week where it is currently 25. I appreciate the tips!!

Mama said...

Awesome clothes. I need some warmer pants, but other than that, I need to check out the C9 stuff.

MCM Mama

N.D. said...

Haha, love the outfit. You look like you are about to rob a bank!!! Gotta do what you gotta do. You look really cute though!!

Nat said...

Damn that's a lot of layers! But I bet you're toasty...

Ovens2Betsy said...

You look like I did when I started the BRRRRch Bay marathon! Running in the cold really isn't bad once you have the right clothes. I'll take it over running in the heat any day.

heatherdaniel said...

Betsy, I went running in the snow today for the first time (it snowed over 6 inches here in Portland which is totally unheard of!) and it was AWESOME! Thanks for the great post.

Also, if you're looking to swoon over a pair of winter running socks may I suggest DryMax's winter running socks? They are great and kept my tootsies warm.

Andrew is getting fit said...

Oh boy! I'm so glad it doesn't get that cold where I live!