WHEN THE WEATHER OUTSIDE IS FRIGHTFUL…
Running outside in cold winter weather kinda sucks. There, I said it.
On Saturday I did a 10-mile long run down near the Chattahoochee River as the temperature had finally climbed into the 40s. It was the first time I’d run outside in over two weeks. Thanks to the rather chilly and windy conditions here in Atlanta, I’d been doing all of my running workouts on the treadmill (or “Dreadmill” as one of my friends says).
While I prefer running outside to plodding along on that never-ending rubber loop, the treadmill is certainly a good option when the alternative is pounding frozen pavement while reminiscing about the joys of having feeling in your extremities.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been rather spoiled running the last 9 years in Los Angeles. While most of the country has the standard four seasons (spring, summer, winter & fall), LA’s weather seems to pretty much consist of one lone 365-day season that I like to call “very nice.”
But here in Atlanta, winter does indeed exist and things can get downright nippy. And like with many things since my relocating, I’m still getting adjusted to the colder weather. And adjusting, at times, blows.
I like to run in shorts, a tech T-shirt, and a running cap. That’s it. And that getup works great for me until the temperature drops below around 52 degrees. Then a long sleeve shirt or lightweight running top enters the equation. And all is well.
Once we drop into the mid-40s, then add a pair of gloves to the mix or maybe some calf sleeves and I’m still good.
Problems for me start once the thermometer dips below 35 degrees because then I haggle with the dilemma of whether not to don the long pants/tights. From there it gets progressively worse as common sense says you should layer up to stay warm. Which would be fine, except that as many of you know, I sweat when I run… a lot.
And when you sweat while wearing layers, you tend to become a soggy clothing burrito. So, yuck.
As a result, I’m experimenting with various new running attire options to hopefully find a modicum of comfort while running outdoors in the winter.
Now I know there are many runners who have no problem running in wintery weather, and some actually enjoy to see how low the temperature can go… kinda like playing climatological limbo. Which is fine; it’s just not my cup of tea (although a cup of tea sounds good right about now).
I bring this all up because next Sunday I’m running the Hot Chocolate 15K Atlanta, a race that asks us to embrace our inner Snow-Miser and promises to reward our wintery jaunt with a cup of warm cocoa (damn well better have some mini-marshmallows in there). I’ll be curious to see what my fellow Atlanta runners are wearing and maybe I’ll get a few tips. The current weather forecast is in the upper 30s with possible rain. Hmm. Should definitely be interesting.
I’ll get back to you next week with my thoughts about the race (my first of the year), what I ended up wearing and how good/bad of a decision that was.
Keep warm… and Run on!
P.S.- Be sure to check back in about 6 months when I bitch about running in really hot summer weather.
So, do you like running in cold weather and what is your go-to piece of gear to keep things toasty?