Monday, December 27, 2010

Winter Running and a Very Merry Christmas!

When I started running in July, I was battling triple digit heat.  I would drag myself out of bed and try to run by 7:30 in the morning (late by most of my running friend's standards, but heck, I don't have a day job!).  I managed and kept wondering how I would brave the cold.  I don't like cold weather.  I don't ski for that very reason.  I figured that the winter weather may be the end of my running career and I'd be back shopping for another sport.

I didn't want to shell out a lot of money on winter gear, mainly because I didn't know what I wanted or needed.  I got a vest (which I really like) from Athleta, a windjacket (also from Athleta), a pair of winter running pants (not tights ---  I just couldn't go there yet), gloves, and a skull cap.I dug out an old Under Armour turtle neck that I wear to Maryland football games (it says Terps on the turtleneck) and a very light weight silk turtleneck that I have worn in the cold forever.  I experimented with layering.  A friend told me to dress for 20 degrees warmer than it is (e,g.  If it's 20, dress for 40).  I was doing okay with temps in the 30's. 

The week before Christmas brought temps in the 20's with windchills even lower.  That was too much for me.  I hit the treadmill.  What torture that is.  I think I would rather freeze.  The treadmill is necessary when the roads are icy and snowy, but I think I'd rather deal with the cold and wind.  That is my plan anyway.

Christmas morning rolled around.  Jessica was at her Dad's in the morning so we wouldn't open gifts until about  noon.  I decided to take a short run.  I had time before making the meatballs that I needed to take to my sister's house.  What the heck.  I would feel better for it.

I put on my turtleneck, vest, hat and gloves (winter running pants go without saying -- no capris in this weather) and off I went.  I decided to do a quick 3 miles.  My gift to myself was to not worry about my pace, just to "run in the moment".  The snow flurries were coming down around me, there wasn't a car on the roads and I was the only one out.  I would pass an occasional dog walker and shout "Merry Christmas".  I had Christmas music on my ipod.  Towards the end of my run, I passed my running friend, Grace, who was also out for a run.  It was truly the best run I had done in ages, possibly ever.  Surprisingly, my pace was 11:21, which isn't far off from my usual pace. 

I came home refreshed and ready for the rest of the day.  It was such a good decision to run. 

Santa also supported my running habit.  I'm notoriously hard to shop for, so everyone seemed to jump on the running bandwagon.  Tom got me a Garmin Forerunner 110.  I wanted a VERY simple GPS unit that I could use easily and that would not become an obsession.  I'm hoping this fits the bill.  Santa brought me a neck warmer and one of those hats that you pull over your head that just your eyes and nose show (mine is made by Brooks).  I look like I could rob a bank, but I'll be toasty.  I also got some neon Under Armour turtlenecks.  My mom gave me a Sugoi microfleece and a new pair of winter running pants (now I have 2!!!  way less laundry!!!).  I also got my own copy of "Run Like a Mother", which is an awesome book, and a copy of "Chi Running", which I have heard good things about.  A great Christmas!!!

I told my daughter that I was going to bring the "bank robber" hat to Nashville to do my run in so that I can embarass her in front of her friends.  She said "That's okay, Mom.  I'll just tell them that's my Crazy Mama that likes to stay warm when she runs."  That made me smile.

Now to hope for good weather to run outside tomorrow so that I can try out my new GPS unit. 

Merry Christmas everyone!

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