On Saturday I wrote a “Running Nugget” about re-using a Mylar blanket as a way to stay warm before a race. Given last week’s winter storm that blanketed a good portion of the country (and the deep freeze this week that stopped the South in its tracks), I realized there’s plenty more to cover on the subject of dealing with cold weather (before and during a race). So I decided to quickly re-visit the subject. This is a bit of a follow-up or epilogue to the “Friend of Foil” post.
Back on Thanksgiving Day I ran the Atlanta Half Marathon (earning my Turkey). Unfortunately, the weather in the Big Peach can be a crapshoot that time of year. In 2012, I ran the race in shorts and a T-shirt as the temperature was well into the 60s.
For 2013, winter decided to come early to the South. Predictions for race morning were for 20 degrees with a wind chill in the low teens. It would be the coldest race I had ever run (previous coldest for me was the Chicago Marathon in 2009 when the weather was a “tropical” 28 degrees).
So, how do you deal with the cold weather on race day?
Every person has their own tolerance for cold conditions and having grown up on the East Coast and Midwest (Wisconsin winters can be brutal) I’m no stranger to frigid conditions. You need to decide (probably through trial and error) what your limits truly are.
Thanksgiving is an ideal day for race. What better way to kick off the biggest eating day of the year than with a healthy calorie deficit? Knowing that the 2,000+ calories I burned off running would be more than made up for (seconds on pie, anyone?), I signed up for the Atlanta Half Marathon as I’d be in town again visiting family. Besides, it sure beat having to help out in the kitchen (I’m usually relegated to peeling potatoes). This annual race (both Half Marathon and 5K) starts and finishes at Turner Field and gives runners a nice look at downtown Atlanta. This year’s “turkey trek” featured almost 8,900 runners (6,733 half marathon and 2,140 5K) and the 7:30am start time guaranteed you’d be home in time for the feast (and football).