Thursday, April 28, 2011

What to wear running, 55 and WINDY!

Temp: 55 degrees (~12 C)
Humidity/Precip.: Low
Wind: 20 - 30 mph
Terrain: Rolling hills
Distance: 3 miles

What I Wore: Light-weight tights, tank sports bra, light-weight, breathable running jacket and wick-away skull cap.

Did It Work: Mostly. The wind was cold, so I was glad to have my arms, legs and ears covered. However, gusting wind makes it harder to predict what will be comfortable, so sometimes I was warmer than I like.

Wind Alert! Although a headwind can make a run a little harder, it's usually fine to run on a windy day. I suggest wearing glasses. This will help keep flying grit out of your eyes. Also, run with your mouth closed unless you want bugs, twigs and dust to end up in it.
Lastly, if you notice that garbage cans, branches or small animals are being blown around, it's probably better to stay indoors.

Happy trails!

Monday, April 25, 2011

What to wear running?

Wondering what to wear for a run? Ask me through the comment box. Maybe I have an idea!

Nike ACG 3-in-1 ski gloves
I used to live & run in New York. Before that, England and, before that, Chicago and St. Paul, MN. I've fainted from heat exhaustion during hot runs and sported elbow-length ski gloves and foot warmers for really REALLY cold runs.

Now, I'm in San Francisco, where it seems like it's always the same (50-60 degrees, moderate humidity). Great for running, bad for blogging. So, if you're here because you're wondering what to wear in certain weather, post a comment and ask me. I'll answer as quickly as I can. If I don't know, I'll try to find out. AND, if possible, I'll post a photo of what I recommend.

Thanks for stopping by! Happy running.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

What to wear running in 60 degrees

Temp: about 60 (15 C) and sunny
Humidity/Precip: Moderately high/none
Wind: 10 mph
Terrain: Rolling hills
Distance: 3.5 miles

What I Wore: Today was an homage to my alma mater, Northwestern University. I was sporting purple Puma running shorts and a white Nike dri-fit t-shirt.

Did it Work: Yes! I was so happy in this run. My outfit was comfortable from beginning to end (I stayed in the shade on the outbound, so I wouldn't heat up too quickly). 
If it's 55-65 outside and you're debating going for a run, do it! These are perfect running temps, especially if it's sunny and a little breezy. For more info on 60-degree runs and springtime precautions, check out this post.

Why the iPod is Featured: I'm showing off my old-school nano (which is a maxo compared to the new nanos) to show that you don't have to buy a bunch of new stuff to run. Old gear that works is good! My nano is dying - it stopped letting me add new songs after my last half marathon, but the old music still gets me through my workouts and, until it dies, I won't be buying a new one. (Update, the nano finally died. I took it to Apple and got a credit toward buying a new shuffle. I plan on running that into the ground, too!)

Happy running!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Washing running clothes

As a runner/yogi/cyclist with a day job, I have A LOT of laundry on my hands. If you've landed here because you're thinking about running, consider yourself warned: being a runner is like having a baby in that it generates a lot of dirty clothes and sometimes you'll think "I have no idea what I'm doing!"

I don't have the secret sauce for smell-free running gear but I do have a formula for making gear last and last and last. So, if you're frugal or broke, but love to workout, read on.

1) Hang dry everything, except your socks. Sounds simple until you realize that the image below is what I wore in one week and all of it (except the socks) had to be hung after washing. Every doorknob, chair back and towel rack in my apartment was occupied with drying bits and pieces.
Blurry but you get the gist!
2) Dry before the hamper. If you can, let super sweaty stuff air dry before you throw it into the dirty clothes. At the end of the week, you'll still have a hamper full of funky clothes, but at least none of them will have grown mildew, which is gross and harder to get rid off.
3) Use good detergent. I know, Tide, Win, Penguin, etc. are all expensive, especially if you're on a budget. But buying new gear is costly, too. Thanks to taking care of my clothes, I am still wearing gear from 1998. Can you pick the 13-year-old shirt out of the line up above? Hint, I'm wearing it in the post preceding this one...

Happy trails and smell ya later!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

What to wear running in 75 degrees

Temp: 75 degrees (22C)
Wind: 5 mph
Humidity/Precip.: Moderate/None
Terrain: Mostly flat
Distance: 2 miles

What We Wore: I wore a Nike dri-fit sleeveless top and Puma running shorts, with a hat, wrist sweatband and sunblock. My friend, Coco Martha, wore Nike running shorts and a cotton t-shirt.

Did It Work: I was a little cold at first but ended comfortably sweaty. Coco Martha said her cotton shirt felt like it was made of meat: by the end, it was a heavy, wet mess. I'm trying to get her to buy some wick away tops. Like, seriously!

Running is contagious: There is a belief that social interactions are important not just for socializing but also for the degree to which they influence our behavior. For example: if you're eating dinner next to a person who is on a diet and not eating much, the dieter's presence is likely to make you eat less. Today's run with my friend proved this theory.
Five years ago, my friend moved to Austin, a big running town, and started dating a personal trainer (Derrick Withers). In the 20 years that I've known her, she has never run, except for a bus or maybe a sale on Gucci. In fact, she'd never exercised in any major way. Now, despite having a demanding job, her own blog and a 2-year old, she's regularly hitting the local trails.
Today was her first run with a partner. I remember how worried I was the first time I ran with other people. I didn't know if I'd be able to keep up and wondered if they'd judge my form. It's scary, even if the people know and love you. It was an honor to be my friend's first run partner. I'm proud of her for trying something new and sticking with it.

Happy trails, old and new friends!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Liner in running shorts

I've written about running shorts before. This is for people who are wondering "what is the lining in running shorts for."

I'm not a shorts designer, but I've been wearing running shorts since they only came in two cuts - short shorts with a hip-high slit and mid-thigh. So here's the quick and dirty on why running shorts need a liner:
  1. Wicking fabric - most liners are made of a light-weight material that will help remove moisture from regions that can get pretty hot and sweaty during a run.
  2. Save your underwear - lacy underthings and boxers were not made for the abuse of exercise. A liner does all the work of underwear, saving you from having to answer the question "Boxers or briefs?" before every run.
  3. No chafing - if you've ever worn a thong or thick cotton briefs on a 12-mile run, you know why there's a liner in good running shorts. Regular underwear can rub in all the wrong places and, over time, leave a mark.
I know, if worn by themselves, running short liners would be the world's ugliest grandma panties. When built into shorts, the degree to which they make a run more comfortable makes them one of the sexiest things on Earth.

My reco? Only buy running shorts that have a liner and, for those of you who've asked, no, don't cut the liner out. Save your tush, your underwear and your laundry pile.

Happy trails!