New England Winter Running Gear– Ski Suit or Bikini?

I think 9 times out of 10 I dress inappropriately for a run. This morning was a prime example. I was excited for temps in the high 30’s (with the cold we’ve experienced in the past couple months, that’s basically tropical). I wore full length spandex pants, a tank top, and this running jacket/windbreaker thing I snagged on sale that I thought “maybe I’ll still be chilly with only a tank on underneath but we’ll see”. Also wore an ear-warmer headband but skipped the gloves after stepping out and thinking it was pretty mild.

While the run was awesome, within the first mile I knew everything I was wearing was wrong. I should’ve worn capris, I already took off my ear-warmer and was using it as a glove since my fingers were frozen, and that stupid jacket was like a tin foil insulator. But I looked on that beautiful bright side and was happy to be outside running before the rain/snow mess that supposed to arrive later and not on a treadmill. 6 miles later, I was sweating like it was July but in runners high land so I was OK with it.

Don't let its lightweight-ness fool you. This will keep you warm in Antarctica.

Don’t let its lightweight-ness fool you. This will keep you warm in Antarctica.

When it comes to running in New England, there are those days where the debate between wearing  fleece lined long underwear or a singlet/shorts combo is a real thing. Below is a rough guide I try to follow (and still adjust on a daily basis when elements like wind/rain/snow/solar eclipses/etc. come into play)

  • <15deg F: Shorts or capri’s and a tank….indoors. Days like this it’s 95% likely that I’m going to choose CrossFit, the treadmill, or the couch instead of breathing in that arctic, frozen air.
  • 15-30deg F: cold weather, full length spandex, drifit coldweather long sleeve, sweatshirt/winter vest/or jacket, winter hat or ear-warmer headband, gloves
  • 30-40deg F: full length or capri spandex, drifit coldweather long sleeve, running vest, ear-warmer headband, gloves
  • 40-60degF: capri spandex, light longsleeve or tank w/arm warmers
  • 60degF+: shorts, short sleeve or tank

Like I said, I’m constantly playing with what works and what doesn’t.

Today’s Lesson: For me, anything below 40deg F (yes that even includes 39deg) I need gloves since I swear blood stops flowing to my fingers in the cold. 

What are your running clothes go-to’s? I know it’s different for everybody (there are those who swear by shorts in anything above freezing!) but it’s always good to hear what others are wearing and when to help my eternal experimentation. 

Hyannis Half Marathon 2014. Was the rare occurrence where I dressed correctly for the weather.

Hyannis Half Marathon 2014. Was the rare occurrence where I dressed correctly for the weather.

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Street Therapy

I knew it would happen eventually.

My long runs haven’t been as “OMG best day ever” as they used to (apparently my runners highs sound like 13yr old girls). I was really loving the temps in the 40’s and happy to take out the new kicks today but still felt a little blah and had to really give myself the mental pep talk to get out the door (ok, ok the out of the norm late night/late wake up call may have had something to do with my slow moving motivation).

Giving the Saucony Kinvaras a whirl

Giving the Saucony Kinvaras a whirl

I was at mile 10.25 and just turned onto Memorial Drive off Brattle Street heading towards Boston where there’s the perfect view of just the Prudential center in the distance since the trees are still bare. Out of nowhere a cop car that was pulled over up ahead put on its lights & sirens and sped up the street passed me. That was all it took for 4.15 Boylston Street flashback central. I felt like I was going to throw up and instantly started crying (thank goodness there was no one else around because I probably looked like a mental case).  So after a minute I pulled myself together and did the only logical thing possible; headed towards the Finish Line (yes that finish line is worthy of a capital F 🙂 )

the site of my minor mental collapse. obviously there would be a sunset in the background. all that was needed was some good background music

the site of my minor mental collapse. obviously there would be a sunset in the background. all that was needed was some good background music

I'll never get sick of this view

I’ll never get sick of this view

Terrible photo. But I still love it. Faded but still beautiful :)

Terrible photo. But I still love it. Faded but still beautiful 🙂

Back Bay running

Back Bay running

So after my visit to the finish line and 3+hours on my feet I was wiped out, but in a much better mood and back to that “OMG” running mode. With the exception of Ryan, my close friends/fam, and others who’ve had their own experiences from that day, I’ve never went to “Talk” to anyone about it. Except, you know, that confidential realm called the internet via this blog. I’ve found peace, sanity, and joy in running and will probably continue to use the roads as my therapy (how many therapists are available for free, 24/7??)

Mass Ave. Not a bad sign to run by during marathon training.

Mass Ave in Cambridge. Not a bad sign to run by during marathon training.

What’s your favorite way to destress/unwind/zone out?