Thursday, January 13, 2011

Winter Run Season Has Arrived

Winter running has it's own set of criteria - stay warm, stay hyrated, stay fuelled...

'I'm a rubber duck - you can't break me' - That was my mantra all through Timberman 70.3.  I thought that it would be reserved for race day but apparently it's an effective all-season training mantra too.

I found myself muttering 'rubber duck ... rubber duck... ' under my breath during my long run on the weekend - in the freezing cold, as I tromped through snow, puddles... and my (stupid) iPod ran out of battery power halfway through my run.  I was SO cold on Sunday... it felt like I just couldn't get any warmth to my body even when I tried feebly to pick up my pace... People on the sidewalk probably wondered if I was all there, as I trundled past them 'rubber duck...rubber duck'... with my lips all blue and icicles on my eyelashes...

Little did I realize until about 2 hours later, when I could not warm up even after 2 large cups of herbal tea, food, a hot bath... that I was actually very dehydrated and after I chugged some Gatorade and fruit juice and water... and soup.... I started feeling less like a human popsicle.  Between my coach and my nutritionist I have now been set straight and I see the light:  I need as much as, if not more, hydration and salt for my winter runs as summer.  Wow.  Don't I feel stupid... (hangs head in shame)

Wintertime has finally arrived in the Toronto area - goody!  It is so pretty to look at the snow... and on a mild day, when the snow is on the ground and the sun is shining - I adore going for a long run... but when it's dreary, grey, and the wind-chill is colder than -14, I'm not quite as enthusiastic.

I've been trying out my vast array of winter running clothing items to see which are the warmest (I don't know about you but I have an area between my navel and mid thigh, that wraps around my body and no matter what I wear, this area FREEZES!!) on these longer runs out in the elements.  Under Armour cold gear compression tights are pretty good as a base layer.  Mizuno Breath Thermal tights are very cozy although strangely they were not enough to keep me warm on the weekend.  Sugoi Firewall 220 tights seem pretty toasty, though I only wore them for a 30 minute run this week.  This weekend, I am kind of hoping to try out some Helly Hanson silkweight longjohns under the Firewalls...  as long as Eric remembers to bring me a pair from the store :)

Thank heavens I have OCD about my sock collection - I have a substantial array of SmartWool running socks and those are my favourite socks of all time - all year - any season ... cool in summer... warm in winter  - you can't beat that!!  Inside a pair of water-resistant Nike Triax trail shoes - perfection!

Here's hoping that my long run on Saturday finds me toasty, warm (but not overheated), properly hydrated, adequately fuelled, with happy and dry feet and plenty of battery time on my iPod so I can go back to singing aloud off-key and not just muttering to myself...

I figure I should have this all figured out by around spring... at which time the climate and my needs will change - again. 

Happy winter running, everyone!