Baby it’s COLD outside – Try some of my Favorite Winter Running Gear?

Coldest Run of the Year

“Baby it’s cold out there!”

I often get asked when it gets this cold in Minnesota (9 below zero and 20 below windchill) “you didn’t run today did you?”.  Sometimes I feel like lying, but I can’t lie very good so I just say, “yep I did,” with a sheepish look on my face and waiting for this…“are you crazy Karen!!”.  To be honest, I get asked why I run in all kinds of sh###y weather…rain, sleet, snow, wind and even 100 degrees with extreme humidity.  I must confess, it’s not because I love these running conditions, and I bet most runners would agree, they’re not anyone’s favorite!  I however love to run, and I do love a challenge even more.  And yes, I may be a bit insane too.

But you know what else……..

I am hoping it makes me a better runner.

When I think about going out for a run in the freezing cold, I often talk to myself and say

“hmmm…it’s freezing out!”
“do I really want to be cold for an hour or so?”
“do I really want to put on all these layers?”
“No, not exactly”

But, when I go out running in the snow, I also try and remember, “I am using different muscles and this run will make me stronger”.   Kind of like running in the wind.  The resistance is good for me right!   So says my friend Sarah, who leads our Running Classes on Monday and Wednesday evenings.  She’s right!  As much as we complain about heading outside for the first part of class, we have fun and know it’s good for us and it makes us tougher runners!  Come to think of it, I have similar thoughts when I go out and run in the heat and humidity.  “This really sucks.  Why the heck am I doing this…oh that’s right, it’s making me a stronger runner!”

Coldest Run of the Year Collage

Winter Running Gear

Yes, it’s true, running is not always fun!  So why do I continue to beat myself up year after year after 30 some years?  Because, running is meant to be a challenge and these conditions are an opportunity to improve performance and to become stronger.  After all, if it were easy, there would be more than 1% of the population running marathons.  So I just suck it up, and I get out there, and I run.

I had a friend who is a bit new to running in our COLD Minnesota temps and she asked me, “how do I dress?  What do you wear?”.   So I thought I’d share a bit about what I have learned over the past 30 some winters.  Yes, you heard right, 30 plus winters.  I’ve been running a long time!

Some of my favorite running gear…. 

When I first started running I had no clue what to wear in the cold.  I remember wearing cotton turtlenecks, sweat shirts, sweat pants over a pair of long underwear.  Come to think of it, I may have ran with my winter coat once.  It doesn’t stop there…..socks to keep my hands warm.  For REAL!  In fact, here is a picture of me running my first marathon back in the 80’s.  Notice the pretty blue turtleneck.
Karen's First Marathon

Karen’s First Marathon – time of 3:34-

I just couldn’t believe I’d ever get warm in such horrific temps.  It took me a long time to trust that.  Most often I would shed a layer or too, stash it somewhere and retrieve it later.  I put on layer after layer.  Granted, I hadn’t heard of Athleta yet?.  You could say my taste in running gear has improved and my husband would say, got more expensive.  Ha.  I try to remind him, it’s cheaper than diamonds!  (But I’d love a pair of diamond earrings…hint, hint).  Take me to one of my favorite coops, restaurant, and Athleta for a date night, and I am a happy girl!
 

Warm Jacket

Under Armour Cold Gear Jacket

Under Armour Cold Gear Jacket

When it’s really cold out I tend to reach for this jacket use see me wearing above, but here is a closer look.  I wear a base layer underneath with a warm half zip shirt like this one from Athleta, my favorite place to shop.  I purchased the above jacket from Zulily.  They both have really great sales but if you see an item on Zulily, don’t hesitate to purchase because things go fast.  I love almost everything from Athleta, and my husband would say, a bit too much?.

Warm Tights

Fleece Lined Tights

Fleece Lined Tights from Athleta

Above is a closer look at the tights I am wearing with those cute socks above.  Both keep me really warm!  I purchased the tights from Athleta a few years ago and they are awesome.  They are fleeced lined and so warm!  Unfortunately, I don’t believe these specific ones are available any more but they do have some other options I know you’ll love!  The socks are from Target.  Champion brand.  Warm and cute too, don’t you think!  Some of my other favorite brands are Balega and SmartWool.  On longer training runs, anything over 10 miles, I wear compression socks.

 Gloves/Mittens

My husband gave me these gloves for Christmas this year.  My hands are probably the toughest part of my body to keep warm.  Even more so than my face.  That thing you see on my face is my gaiter from Under Armour.   My hands however have had so much frost bite in the past, probably due to improper so they are bit more sensitive.  I tried these on my last cold run, and my hands stayed warm.  WOOT WOOT!  He purchased them from Sierra Trading.  Check out this article and give this a try!

These Gloves ROCK!

These Gloves ROCK!

 

SHOES

I love my Brooks Pure Flows but if it’s really snowy out, I will attach these.  You can read more about them here.  I tend to only wear them if there is a lot of snow and the plows have not been out yet to clear the roads.  They work wonderfully if it’s snowy because they’ll grip to the snow.  That’s about the only time I wear them.  If it’s icy, not so much.

Yaktrax for Snow and Ice
 There you have it!  Now all you need to do is mentally prepare and suck it up and get out there and run, (except when it’s icy…than I head to the gym) after all, it’s beats running on a treadmill, (in my opinion that is).  Besides, it’s much prettier too!
Yep...It was a Freezing Cold Run

Yep…It was a Freezing Cold Run

I love everything about Life in general which is why staying healthy is important to me. Its fun to spread the word that you can have vibrant health by having a positive attitude, eating well, exercising and taking Shaklee food supplements. I truly believe this lifestyle has allowed me to continue to run marathons and I look forward to many more.

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