Sunday, January 15, 2012

I am a Fair Weather Runner

I am going to let you all in on a little secret.  I am not a hardcore runner.  I would like to say I am, I really do try to be.  But I am, alas, somewhat of a wimp.  I like running in the perfect conditions.  You know a beautiful fall day where you happily shuffle down a trail with the leaves changing and your hair blowing in the wind and not a care in the world.

Did you know I have a little obsession with the Fall and leaves...

What I am not a fan of is running in the rain, snow, heat, or cold.  Ok, I know I know, what kind of runner am I?  But I am getting better...I promise.  This past training cycle I faced my fears and learned that the rain was manageable at times, the heat was ok, and that 35 degree weather is actually perfect for shorts and a long sleeve tee-shirt.

Today, however, I may have been a little bit out of my league.  With this...

It was exciting to hit 10 degrees, we started at 5 degrees

When I saw this predicted forecast Saturday morning, I wanted to ditch my BIG plans of running with Michele in Central Park and just hit the treadmill for 10 miles a day early and get it done with.  If it had not been for my run date with Michele, I probably would have.  However, I could not pass up the opportunity to run with her.  Plus Aaron also committed to run his 3 miles in Central Park as well and promptly told me to man up about this whole weather thing, so I did not really have a choice.

Thus early this morning Aaron and I made the trip from Boston to NYC.  Unfortunately, Michele's adorable son was sick and she could not make it for our run date(feel better little guy!).  At this point, I was left with no choice.  I had to get in my 10 mile run and there was nothing else to do but face my fears.  I honestly did not believe I could do it.  Even when I started running, even while running I did not think I would make it.  But with Aaron's "encouraging" words I knew I had no choice, I had to Man Up and get outside - single digits or not.

And guess what?  It was not bad at all.  I never felt cold!!  Not once.  Aaron and I had the goal of creating almost a "Stephanie Bubble" between me and the outside world and it only took 5 stores to complete the task but it was a pretty darn good bubble.   The outfit consisted of running tights, three shirts (Under Armor base layer, Brooks Thermal Layer, Brooks running hoodie), Ski Gloves, and hand warmers.
I have a million layers on. Aaron is wearing shorts, no gloves, not hat.

But what took the cake was this guy...

Robin and Colleen had turned me on to this fellow a few weeks ago and I have looking for one ever since. A late night shopping trip with Robin last night finally found one and I am so so thankful for it.  Having this mask took care of my breathing problem so that my lungs never burned.  Additionally, it provided added warmth and protection from the cold and wind, it was as if I did not even know it was cold outside and for me that is saying a lot! Combine this with my huge ass ski gloves and I was in heaven.  I am happy to report that I was never too warm but felt just right.  However, it was not all fun and games in the mask.  It was actually kind of wet and slobbery.  TMI? Sorry!  Also while I was shielded from the cold, it SUCKED running with all of that gear.   It was just hard to move.  I guess it will take some getting used to.

Ultimately, I made it. I got out there and I did it.  I still can't believe it.  Watch out winter, turns out I am not such a wimp after all.  However, Mr. Winter, given the choice,  I would take Fall any day of the week.


Did you embrace the cold this weekend?  How do you handle all the gear you need for running in such freezing, cold conditions?

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