Thanks to peer pressure, Staci ran her first race on Saturday, and guess what? Despite all of her previous protesting, she loved it. I knew she would! Races are one of those things that you have to experience before you can understand the obsession.
She even said that she's going to sign up for another race soon! Unfortunately, her newfound enjoyment of the sport couldn't come at a worse time. Although I love winter running, if you're not prepared for the elements, it can be really discouraging. You basically need two to three layers of moisture-wicking everything plus cold-weather accessories. I wear the same base layers for ski trips under my jacket and pants.
Thinking of running while on a winter weather trip? Here are my picks for winter running gear:
Out of all of these things, I'd say that socks are the most important. Most people don't want to spend $20 on a single pair of socks but let me tell you -- its WORTH IT. I'll pay $20 to avoid frostbite, thanks. (No joke.) Make sure you get the high, dorky socks to tuck your pants into too. Otherwise, you'll have a gap between your pants and socks, and your ankles will be very angry (and very red). Getting a jacket with thumbholes is also a must so that the wind doesn't blow up into your shirt and your wrists won't be exposed.
Most importantly, make sure EVERYTHING wicks moisture. Despite the cold temperatures (including polar vortex weather), you will sweat. And that sweat will immediately freeze if you're wearing cotton. I'm talking actual ice. Running in frozen clothes is as uncomfortable as you might imagine and can lead to some nasty chaffing and even illness. Don't cheap out people -- go for the quality moisture-wicking stuff! Face masks and snoods are optional, but I prefer them for the start of runs so that I can breathe into them and get my lungs used to the cold air gradually. Plus, how badass do they look?
I'll be wearing most of these things on my "holiday window run" in early December. This annual tradition is when my friends and I take an early morning 4-mile running tour of NYC's finest holiday window displays and Rockefeller Center tree before stuffing our faces with chicken and waffles at Jacob's Pickles. Nothing says holidays like running through confused tourists at 8 a.m. on a weekend morning while wearing holiday headbands, amirite?
P.S. Think happy thoughts on December 13 for me (the day of the NYC Half Marathon lottery drawing)!