Tuesday, December 1, 2015

ROCK Running

Back at the old high school alma mater, runners had fun all year long. They had cross country in the fall and track in the spring. And in the winter? They got together in a group called ROCK Runners. "ROCK" stood for "Running Out in the Crazy Kold," and in Michigan, it got cold.

I had some friends who did ROCK Runners to train for spring sports, but I just laughed at the thought. Who in their right mind would want to get out in sub-freezing temperatures to run?

Well, it turns out I do. *Ignore incredulous stare from my high school self.*

We've had a pretty cold few days here in Colorado, and the sun has decided to take a vacation. This means that the snow that fell earlier in the week is staying on the sidewalks and making for not-very-fun running.

Unfortunately, my apartment complex decided that this was the perfect time to remodel the Fitness Center, and it's closed until further notice.

What's a girl to do when she needs to run 3-4 times a week in order to maintain her training for this big half marathon which she is suddenly realizing is mere WEEKS away? Well, run out in the crazy kold, that's what.

The first thing I had to do was figure out what to wear. It's easy to find clothes for warm weather running, since you find the most lightweight clothing that moves sweat away from the body. In cold weather running, you still need to move the sweat away from the body, but also keep the cold air away, too.

My solution was pretty easy: use my ski gear. When I'd go skiing in the Rocky Mountains, my outfit consisted of long underwear, a base top, a light sweatshirt, snowpants, and my ski jacket. To complete the ensemble, I would add mittens, ski socks, and my ski hat/mask.

The essentials can carry over to running. I still wear the long underwear, but put my yoga pants or shorts (depending on the temperature) on over them. I use the base top with a short-sleeved top sometimes, and I also have a few long-sleeved shirts that have a very nice lining to them. I wear a zip-up top on cold days, or I wear a lined wind jacket to prevent the cold from seeping it. That jacket is ancient - I believe it belonged to my sister once upon a time - but now I have it and it's perfect!

cold weather = ninja weather
I still use my ski hat/mask, but I don't wear the mask part because it makes me too warm. Ditto for gloves - I usually start out with them, and then take them off because my hands get super warm and sweaty.

That's the thing about running in the cold weather - you start out cold, but once you start running your body warms up. You can't wear too much or else you overheat, oddly enough! I once saw a good suggestion that one should wear clothing for running like it's 20 degrees warmer than it actually is. On days like last Friday, I was bundled up. But on a day like today, I ended up going with the shorts and no gloves and did just fine.

While it might not seem like I would need to drink lots of water, I still do on the long runs. My body is still producing sweat, which means water is leaving my body. I need to replenish! However, shorter runs mean I can keep the waterbottle at home.

So laugh all you want, High School Me, but I run out in the crazy kold. It figures Colorado would have some sloppy weather this time around, but if I wait long enough, the crazy kold will eventually heat up again!

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