Saturday, December 31, 2011

What I Won't Miss About Running

Depending on your time zone, my long long-distance running career is wrapping up in about 4 hours. It's a been a good run (oh yes, I'm so punny on New Years Eve) but torn knees and Achilles tendonitis are telling me it's time to mostly* hang up the running shoes, knee straps and lined shorts for a while.

In an effort to accept my decision, here's a short list of what I won't miss about my favorite activity:
- runner's gut: I've been prone to stomach cramps for my entire running life and they hurt like a mother!
- aching knees: I'm just too young to hobble
- being cold before I warm up: if you've been here before, you know I don't overdress, which means some runs start out feeling a little... fresh
- packing running shoes: I travel a lot and running shoes are space hogs in a suitcase

I think that's it. If you can think of anything else that will make me feel better, please share in a comment! In the meantime, I have a few posts saved up from some recent cold-weather runs, so come back for posts about what to wear running in 15 or 20 degrees.

To everyone who is running into 2012, happy trails!

*I say mostly because I'm still in denial.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What to Wear Running: 30 degrees and humid

Temp: 30 degrees F/2C
Humidity/Precip.: High (~85%)
Wind: None
Terrain: Flat
Distance: 2.5 miles

What I Wore: Singlet, long-sleeve top, running jacket (fluorescent - it was nighttime), gloves, thin tights and a light-weight hat.

Did It Work: Yes, except I couldn't keep my hands comfortable. The high humidity made it feel cold but 30 isn't so bad, once you get moving. Except the hands! First they were freezing, then sweaty, so I took off the gloves, but then my fingers were cold. In the end, wore my gloves just over my fingers. It was very jazz hands and did the job.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What to Wear Running in Vancouver

Conditions: Cool (below 60F/15C) and damp (usually)
Terrain: Rolling hills
Distance: Up to you

By special request, a post about running in the beautiful city of Vancouver, Canada. Why? Because it's damp, so it seems colder. And, because it isn't always flat, there's lots of opportunity to warm up. Plus, it really is pretty, so if you visit, go for a run during the day.

Nike gloves, singlet and capris
Three Hs: The key for me in damp, cool places is Heart, Hands, Head. I talked about the 3 Hs in an earlier post, but here's a quick refresher. You'll feel more comfortable if you:
  • Prevent heat from escaping through your head
  • Protect your most important muscle - the heart
  • Pamper your extremities (your feet are probably in shoes, so this means gloves)
What to Wear: Basics for 50F/9C and below: a hat, singlet or T (wicking, of course), and gloves. Layer on a long-sleeve top that you can shed when you warm up. Shorts, capris or light-weight tights are usually fine in Vancouver. It's a rare day when you want something heavier like lined tights.
If it's above 50/9, I would still bring the layers but leave the gloves at home.

Men's running jacket by Puma
Most important, whether you live there or are planning a visit, is a brimmed hat and light-weight breathable shell. You never know when it might rain and these will keep the damp off your skin, which is crucial to keeping your body temperature up (which keeps muscles loose, which helps prevent injury. You get the gist!).

Happy running and send us a comment postcard!