Monday, December 20, 2010

What to wear running in 55 & rainy

Temp: 55 degrees (12ish C)
Wind: 10 mph
Humidity/Precip.: 85%/passing showers
Terrain: Rolling hills
Distance: 3 miles

What I Wore: Shorts, tank and mid-weight jacket.

Yes, my torso really is this short.
Did It Work: Sort of. I dislike cold rain on my arms before I warm up, so long sleeves were good. And, the jacket was the right weight. BUT I forgot that this particular jacket is the opposite of breathable. In fact, I think it might create a vacuum when zipped. It's like running in a cute garbage bag. As I warmed up, my perspiration collected inside. Disgusting.

But, I was comfortable in every other way - the layer of a tank with jacket was right. I tend to be chilly and still thought it was warm enough for shorts.

Solution for future: only wear a jacket like this one when it is cool enough for long sleeves and you aren't likely to be too hot. Otherwise, ask before buying if your gear breaths and wicks.

Happy holidays and good running to all!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Gifts for Runners

Ok, I missed Hanukkah, but if you're still shopping for Christmas/Kwanza/the Solstice, here are some gift ideas for your favorite runner:

Socks: I've said it before, but it's still true: runners actually like socks as a gift. Smartwool, Nike and Icebreaker are my favorites. Just make sure you're buying the right size and a style meant for running. The best ones have little Ls and Rs on them, indicating which foot they belong on.
Gift certificates: I recommend a gift certificate to Road Runner Sports - big selection and great customer service or your runner's local running shop (e.g. A Runner's Mind on Howard in Burlingame). Smaller, local shops tend to have a nice, hands on approach and really know the gear in their store.
Compression anything: We're not getting any younger. Compression socks, tights and even arm bands help us keep it together, especially during and after long runs.
Accessories (clothing): Running hat (Nike, Brooks, Asics), wrist sweat bands and thin knit gloves all make great stocking stuffers.
Accessories (gear): Some of us are pretty particular, but if you know what you're doing, gear is great. Clip on water bottles and headlamps (for night runs) are affordable options, while watches, sunglasses and iPod shuffles are great for the generous giver.
Slightly risky, but novel: Race registration. Races can be expensive. If you know someone plans to run a race (and I mean you really know it, not just they've said they might), gifting them their race registration is very thoughtful and shows your support.
More risky:
Clothing of any sort. Runners can be picky. We don't want to seem ungrateful but we would be so much happier getting to pick out our own toys (yes, running clothes count as toys). Hence, the suggestion of a gift cert.
Shoes. An expensive gift that can be wrong in every way. Thoughtful, but don't do it unless the runner is with you, picking out their size, style, color and brand.
Scale. Unless you're trying to give your running pal a complex, avoid gifts that imply they should be running more and eating less.

Happy holidays and may all your gifts be good ones!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

What to wear running in 55 degrees

Temp: 55 degrees
Humidity/Precip.: 95%/none
Wind: Calm
Terrain: Rolling hills
Distance: 3 miles

What I Wore: Well, I started out wearing Brooks running shorts, Under Armour wicking T and Pearl Izumi running jacket. BUT, when I stepped outside, I was comfortable. Learning from past mistakes I went back in, took off the two top layers and replaced them with one - the Asics long-sleeve, wicking T from the 2007 ING NYC marathon.


Did It Work: Yes! It was just a little cool when I started but I was ready to push up my sleeves around mile 2. Thanks to the cool, damp air, the outfit was never too hot. Plus, on a foggy day in the Bay Area, the bright orange was just what the folks in the 'hood needed!

Race Gear: Not all race swag is good. Please don't feel like you HAVE  to wear whatever someone gives you. I didn't wear the NYC shirt for the '07 race because even the small is too big (see pic) and because it was untested - 26.2 miles is a long way to run in something you've never worn before.
For a long race, don't wear something new. And for any race, skip the cotton. As Shu's Running Store in Boise, ID, likes to say: Cotton is a tool of the devil (when it comes to running).

Happy running. Hope to see you on the trail.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

What to wear running in 50 degrees

Temp: 51 degrees
Humidity/Precip.: 85%/heavy fog
Wind: Calm
Terrain: Flat
Distance: 2 miles

What I Wore: Lightweight Nike running tights; short-sleeve Under Armour wicking t-shirt; Brooks lightweight running jacket; running hat; thin, knit Asics running gloves.

Did It Work: Yes. I was just a little chilly when I first started but was warm after the first mile. If you know it isn't going to rain and you're going for a longer or hilly run, consider just wearing a long-sleeve tech top with gloves, versus a T and a jacket - my core was pretty warm by the end and I would have been too hot if I'd run much further.