Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Winter Gear Review

Here is a synopsis of my three runs so far this week:

Monday 2/1/10
Distance: 3.72
Time: 34:25
Average Pace: 9:15
Notes: COLD 15 degree morning! First run outside after a big snowstorm, so I had to be extra careful with my footing.

Tuesday 2/2/10
Distance: 4.33
Time: 40:12
Average Pace: 9:17
Notes: I ran in the evening instead of the morning, which felt very weird! I decided to give evening running a go, but just a few miles into my run I realized why I hate to run at night. I was hungry, tired, and there was so much traffic out. It is much more peaceful at 5:30 in the morning!

Wednesday 2/3/10
Distance: 7.10
Time: 1hr 5 minutes
Average Pace: 9:10
Notes: Ate two GU Chomps on the run (at mile 2 & mile 4), for a total of about 100 calories. I think I'll stick with Clif Shots or Clif ShotBlocks - they have a much better taste, and seem more filling.

Since that damn little groundhog saw his shadow, I thought it might be a good idea to do a "winter gear" review. I wear pretty much the same thing everyday for my winter runs, and everything is great. Even on 15 degree days, I am not cold. Over the past few Christmases I've accumulated some great winter gear from my family and Chad's family. This year was no exception, except that one of the products that I bought is no good at all. Without further ado, here are my top picks, from the head down, for winter running gear.

Brooks Vapor Dry 2 Racer Cap
This winter hat is black with two large neon yellow stripes - perfect for early morning runs in the dark! And, it keeps both my head and ears very warm without trapping in too much heat.

Brooks Motion Jacket
I found that this great jacket is actually too warm to run in, but it is great for walking Emma and running errands. I LOVE this jacket and have worn it everyday since we've been back in Kentucky after Christmas. It is soft, comfortable, and has a flattering fit. It's great for walking Emma because there are pockets inside where I can stash my keys and cell phone. Plus, it is "UK Blue" so I get lots of approving nods from neighbors and passing motorists.

New Balance Kaspian Jacket
Two years ago my parents bought me a New Balance Kaspian 1/2 zip jacket, and it is still probably my most used cold weather item. I just checked the New Balance website, and it looks like they no longer carry them. That's a shame, because it is a great jacket! It is pretty lightweight, but heavy enough to keep body heat in. On cold mornings I always wear a short sleeve t-shirt, then a long-sleeved technical shirt, then the New Balance jacket. I wear the jacket until we start having 45 degree mornings. Once it is 45 degrees or warmer, usually just a t-shirt and long sleeve tech shirt are enough.

Long-sleeve Technical Shirts
I have three long-sleeve shirts in my rotation: a NikePro shirt, a Hind shirt, and a Nike DriFit shirt. All three are great as mid-layers! The NikePro shirt is a little more fitted, the Hind shirt is a little looser, and the Nike DriFit shirt is more t-shirt like. I bought the Nike DriFit shirt at Academy with a gift card that my sister Megan gave me for Christmas. It is my favorite of the three - I've even found myself wearing it for casual use, as well!

Hind Gloves
I have a thin pair of Brooks gloves that I've used for the past two years, but this Christmas I decided to get a thicker pair of gloves with part of my gift certificate from Santa to Run Wild in Alexandria, Louisiana. At the store, I found some Hind gloves that seemed like they would be perfect. And luckily, they are! My fingers get so cold so easily, but these gloves are thick enough to keep heat in and to keep my blood flowing, but not too thick that my hands get too hot. That is the fine line with all winter running gear - it can't be too warm, yet it can't be too cold. That's a hard medium to find!

C9 Running Tights
Another staple is my C9 tights from Target. My mom and I found these on sale for $4, and they were worth every penny! I don't know where I would be without these running tights.

Mizuno Breath Thermo Socks
Unfortunately, this is the product that really doesn't work for me. Well...they may work too well, actually! The theory behind these fancy socks is that they convert body moisture to heat for additional warmth. Well, I tend to sweat profusely - even in frigid temps. After a few runs in these socks my feet were killing me - they were tender and blistery feeling. While the Mizuno socks were in the laundry, I wore some other socks and had no problem. After wearing the Mizuno socks again on Monday, it hit me. The socks were literally burning my feet! That's the only explanation I can think of. I've never had this problem with any other socks. Whatever the case, I'll be retiring the Mizunos and sticking with my trusted Brooks and Under Armour socks!

1 comment:

Rob said...

Hey MereMaw!

Farmville has an awesome trail that used to be the train system that went through town. It's 35 miles long currently.

I am thinking about getting some Brooks trail runners. Have you ever owned trail shoes?