I went running outside yesterday and it was freaking cold for sure. It showed 7 degrees Fahrenheit when I left the house and since it was later in the afternoon it certainly did not get warmer while I was out there running in the snow. The sidewalks in my neighborhood were Ok to run – most people had already shoveled snow, but the sidewalks at the bigger streets were full with snow. It looked like they had been plowed already, but then the big snow plows that take care of the streets “filled them up” with snow again. Partially it was very difficult to run and I am sore a bit due to this unexpected exercise. It’s almost like trail running – you use different muscles because you are not running on a flat surface, but running in snow is also a bit more difficult because your feet sink into the snow.
Anyway, I braved the road and weather conditions and ran for almost 7 miles. I wanted to use this run as a gear check for my half marathon on Saturday. Everything, except my running tights turned out to be just fine. I do have a running hat, but knew that once I started sweating it would get wet and then cold. It’s fine and works good when temperatures are in the 20s or higher, but is bad when it gets really cold. So, I put a normal winter hat over my running hat and it turned out to be perfect. I never felt cold at my head and my ears (especially the one with the still ongoing effects from the ear infection) stayed nice and warm.
I have two pairs of running gloves. One is really thin and good for temperatures up to 30 degrees or higher. The other one works fine with temperatures into the mid-teens. But both were not adequate for temperatures going towards zero degrees – at least not if used as the only option. However, the thin pair of gloves works fine under the other pair of gloves and if I wear both pairs together my hands were perfectly warm + both pairs are made for running and so they wick away the sweat from the hand to the outside. By the time I got back my hands were warm and the gloves were white from frozen sweat on the outside.
Upper Body Running Clothes
I wore three layers on my upper body. I used an Adidas Comfort Dry T-Shirt, an Under Armor Sports Sweatshirt, and my “old fashion” Nike Dri-Fit jacket that I bought 5 years ago. Overall I was warm on my upper body. I might add an additional layer using another technical T-Shirt – I am a bit torn on that and will make the call Saturday when I see the actual temperatures. I will simply bring enough clothes so that I can switch up as needed before the race + I need clothes for after the race as well. The forecast for Saturday is not pretty.
My running tights are 5 years old and not really good for these weather conditions. I will need to get better ones. I am heading up to Westminster, CO today to pick up my race bib and Shirt. That is done at a local Roadrunner Sports store. So, I will shop for some thermal running rights at the same time. I was Ok after last night’s run, but I ran for a bit over an hour and it took me a while to get warm legs again. I could also feel the effect on my legs when running – the impact from running on frozen ground when your legs are not 100% warm is significant and can easily lead to injury. I was also wearing some compression shorts and the area covered by the compression shorts and running tights was fine. So, I think a good pair of thermal running rights will take care of this.
I wore a pair of Nike Pegasus 29 shoes for my run – the regular ones, not the ones for bad or cold weather. My feet were fine the entire time and the snow barely affect the feet and shoes. Only in really deep snow sections I got cold ankles for a few moments, but the cold feeling went away after I was back out of the deeper snow. My feet were dry when I arrived back home – maybe a bit wet from sweat, but not really. I heard about putting duct tape onto the mesh areas of running shoes to protect the shoes and feet from the cold and water. I might actually try that – depending on how cold it is on Saturday morning. I also had good grip on the snowy surface with my shoes. The most problems I had on the actual street pavement where the snow plows had been – it felt slippery, but it was fine everywhere else.
My face was the only exposed skin area of my body during my run yesterday. I was a bit concerned at first, but overall it was just fine. Once I was running for about a mile I felt warm enough. I could see wind as a problem. The wind chill can take single digit temperatures and make them feel like Minus 20 or Minus 30. I have to keep an eye on the weather forecast for Saturday. Currently it has “improved” from a temperature perspective. The day’s high will be right around the time when I expect to be done running (yeah), but the forecast now also includes a 20% chance of snow.
I am very excited about running a Winter half marathon, but the cold temperatures are something to be really careful about. I have run outside in these temperatures before, but I never ran a half marathon distance in these type of conditions. My “test run” yesterday was definitely helpful, but I ran for an hour and 7 minutes – not two hours and ten minutes (the time I expect I will need for the half marathon). I think my gear should be able to keep me warm for the half marathon – assuming I get some thermal running tights today.