Thursday, December 20, 2012

Baby It's Cold Outside

Ok, first thing's first. We finally got resolution this morning on the 2012 NYC Marathon that wasn't. According to the NYRR, we get three choices:

1) Full refund ($250...not small change)
2) Guaranteed Entry into 2013, 2014 OR 2015 NYC Marathon...but you'll need to pay the $250 entry fee again.
3) Guaranteed Entry into the 2013 NYC Half Marathon in March (and you'll also have to pay the entry fee).

After some hemming and hawing [which lasted approximately 35 seconds] I have decided I am going to select the 2013 option. This probably comes as no surprise to my loyal fans and readers (all 10 of you), but I feel like if I don't go for it for 2013...come next November I'll regret it.

The downsides are two-fold. First fold: This will now be the third freaking time I pay $250 to run an "alleged" marathon.

$750 well spent??

Second-fold, this means that after I allegedly run the Miami marathon at the end of January....I'll have to start up training again in July or August for the November NYC marathon.

But so be it.

Because now this is a thing and I'm evidently a runner who does stuff like this now. So there you have it. Two marathons. One calendar year. Lucky '

Unless of course the Mayans are right for tomorrow in which case, all bets are off.

But we have plenty of time to fixate on November 2013. Let's talk about Winter Running.

WINTER RUNNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As I mentioned earlier this week in my post, I've done a lot of research and experimenting with running gear and layering. I still don't have it quite right (as this is my first year truly running in this horrid season betweenst fall and spring). But I do have some lessons / tips / items that maybe (just maybe?) will be helpful if you are considering embarking on the cold weather running. Or if you want to make fun of me for all the money and time I've spent on these shenanigans.

Before I begin, a caveat is required that I run "warm" (i.e. I seem to warm up more quickly than others) and that I am an awkwardly heavy sweater.

Not this type of sweater:

This type:

Keep my hotness in mind and adjust accordingly.

60 degrees+
I do my thing. Shorts (almost always) and a tank top. I don't like clothing touching my armpits when I sweat. I also wear a bondi band to keep my own sweat from blinding me or a white hat to keep my scalp from burning off my head. 

thumbs up!

50-60 degrees:
Bottom: Shorts still.
Top: Depending on the sunnyness, a tank or long-sleeved shirt. Arm warmers can also be used if you want to faux-layer to make things easy. Cool, that's easy.
Headwear: Optional

Bottom: I like wearing capri length running pants in this weather. Mine are tights from sugoi and I got them at
JackRabbit (a favorite store for myself and a newfound joyful place for fellow blogger friend The Merry Runner!

Top: I like to wear a long sleeved shirt with thumbholes like this one I own from Brooks.
If it's windy, I'd also throw on a windbreaker running jacket like this Mizuno one I own:

If you are little more "cold" of a runner than I, you may want to consider your long-sleeved shirt to be fleece-lined. Any running store or sports store will carry plenty of long-sleeved fleece lined items, and I own one as well that I wear when it's closer to 40 than to 50.

Accessories: Gloves or a headband may also be helpful, although you'll may take them off once you start running. And if you have a good jacket, it will have pockets to put them in.

25-40 Degrees:
Bottom: You'll want a fleece-lined running pant. I use the MidZero Tight from Sugoi and -- although a little pricey -- it's worth it. They also have a SubZero which is even more fleecy and cozy, but it makes my body a lil' too over-heated.

Top: You also will need to start taking seriously the power of three when it comes to layering:
  • Layer 1: A base layer. This should be VERY tight to the skin (like, unflatteringly tight) so that no air can be between you and your sexy body. This layer is intended to keep you warm while also wicking sweat away. I own one from Craft that I got at JackRabbit. It's expensive, but I've learned it's essential. No one will see it, so it won't matter that you'll look like an encased sausage. Even for the "warm" runners like me, I've learned the hard way that it is most definitely better to be too hot than too cold. Because if you sweat a little and are cold? And don't have a layer like this? You die of hypothermia. 
          Ok, that's a bit extreme.  But it sucks.

  • Layer 2: 2nd layer (I don't have a better name for this). This goes on TOP of the base layer and is used simply for warmth. For this I recently invested (of course at JackRabbit) in the Sugoi midzero zip. Clearly in purple. It's fleece-lined, has a great back pocket, a high neck, a nice fit (not too snug, not too loose) and the blessed thumbholes. I wore it last weekend on my run with Jen and it was delightful.

  •  Layer 3: Windbreaker if it's windy at all (see above in the 40-50 section!) You'll notice in the photo above I don't have this on, but it's because it was a STILL, SUNNY day. Check out the weather IMMEDIATELY before you leave on a cold day and make a judgement call.
Accessories: For SURE a hat or headband and gloves. Any sporting store will sell them. Although I haven't experienced yet, they say that to run in the snow you can wear a headband over a normal running hat to keep condensation out of your face....

...or you can just treadmill run I probably will...

Below 25: No freakin' idea. I hope this doesn't come up because I'm scurred.

Other: The running fuel belt is also crutial. You'll be sweating a little less (unless you're me) than in the summer, so you don't realize you're still loosing water and need to refuel. Also the water fountains get turned off in the winter.

I use the same socks from the summer, but when it gets really cold I also invested in a pair of thicker wool ones to make sure my tootsies stay cozy.

                                                  *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *
                                                             ^ This means my thoughts are now separated

As you can see, I have a lot of Brooks and a lot of Sugoi stuff, because that's what JackRabbit recommends. But honestly? They've never really steered me wrong.

I'm not going to lie to you, the stuff I've listed above will cost you a pretty penny. Especially if you buy much at once, such as what I did. It's a bit shocking in fact.

The bill is HOW MUCH!?!?!

However, the pieces are worth the investment. I can't stress this enough. When it comes to running gear, it's not the place to skimp. And this comes from a notorious cheap-ass. Good items will hold up well to wear and washing and will last far longer than cheaper counter-points.

By not putting too much credence on color, you can find stuff on sale or in outlets and -- at the end of the day -- I think we can align that staying warm and safe is more important than fashion.

This is fashionable running and is not recommended by MeriG.

I hope my little compilation helps a bit. Whatever winter activities in which you decide to partake, stay comfy, warm, and enjoy!

What's your favorite winter running gear?  Any different advice than what I have offered?


  1. Yay! You won't regret it. Although the second entry fee has to be painful. Will you still be training with TFK?

    1. hahah THIRD fee! $750 bucks! I'll be with TFK officially but not sure what programs they will be able to offer us as far as training and race-day perks (they won't be able to handle capacity for all of 2012 plus new 2013 people). More to come on that but luckily i think I'm okay on my own or with my running friends to give training a go (like Miami!)

  2. I always wear a headband instead of a hat. I find that my head gets all sweaty when it's super cold outside, and after a few miles, I become cold.

    1. Same with me!! I bought a new hat I might try that isn't fleece-lined for when it's below 25...

  3. I don't have any special running gear for the winter. I find I get over heated with fleece, but it rarely drops below freezing here so I guess it's not a problem. I really need fuel belt or a camelback for summer though.