Day 28 – Internal warmth for winter running

28 01 2010

The weatherman was wrong about the snow he expected today. We just had a few flurries and what felt like very cold temps at first. Gray skies in Colorado make us all feel like it’s freezing, since most days you can warm yourself in the sunshine. In reality it was high 20s/low 30s – not too bad.

I still bundled up in too many layers to stick to my 5-mile run plan and prove to myself that I really can run on cloudy winter days. I was telling Jo-Anna (who ran in shorts today like a real runner!) how I actually felt my hind end warm up during the first quarter mile. Like I was sitting on my heated car seat! By a half mile my legs were more than warm and wishing they could shed one of my two pant layers. By one and a half miles I was really roasting and sweating – forgetting about winter.

Revisiting some websites that talk about dressing for winter runs, I was reminded that in these temps you really only need one layer on your legs, since they are in motion and warmed from within. Your torso needs a few layers that wick moisture and trap heat to insulates your body. An outside Goretex layer if it’s windy.

Covering your head/ears and hands is common sense from sled riding days. I do need to invest in some real running gloves that wick. My fuzzy mittens just don’t cut it by mile three when they are soggy.

While I was sweating and enjoying my warmth on the trail, I decided no coyote in his right mind would come after me today in all of my gear, and that those many layers might just protect me. The kids and I saw a lone coyote in broad daylight yesterday in the car on the way to the dentist – right by a highway near the airport. So a crazy busy road with planes overhead actually made me feel sorry for this particular coyote who stood frozen in the field watching all the traffic.

Maybe coyotes also long for running in sunshine!

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