Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sound of silence in freezing temps

In Central Massachusetts, we got anywhere from 2-6 inches of snow overnight. I had planned to out for 4-5 five miles today, and I wasn't about to let the snow and ice deter me. With the Freezer Five just 3 1/2 weeks away, I thought today was a perfect opportunity to test layering; how I would feel in the cold, how I would tread on ice.

I'm still trying to figure out the appropriate layering strategy. If anyone reading has any tips, feel free to share them! This morning I geared up with some old Hind tights, some compression shorts, and a pair of old gym pants. On top, I had a tech wick shirt, long sleeved t-shirt, sweatshirt & windbreaker. I donned a vented ski-mask and gloves. Believing the axiom "rather be hot than cold", finally, I threw on my wind-breaker. With my green hood and mask, I looked as if MF Doom had taken up snow-shoeing.

Just the cold and me
I headed out for a familiar 4 mile road route near home. It is an out and back with a few very low grade hills. The roads were pretty empty (around 7:50am) so I felt safe enough to avoid the ice that had gathered up on the banks, and run in the road, only occasionally moving over. I encountered maybe a handful of drivers. Since I knew I'd be road running, I decided to ditch the headphones in favor of safety. This had an unexpected, zen-like effect.

I had forgotten how fantastic it can be to just get out there and run. Without the pounding beat of a soundtrack, the lap-splits. Without checking my pace or hearing the iPhone alert me with a text message or e-mail. Just me and the cold, empty road. The wintry wonderland around me. The sound of my shoes hitting the pavement and the swoosh of my wind-breaker, my breathing and heart beat - the perfect soundtrack in the otherwise silent winter morning.

I ended up shedding the mask about half-way through the run. And, I was probably a bit too warm with the sweat-shirt. But if the Freezer Five is any colder than today, it's good to know I can run with all of this extra bulk.

This layering in the cold seems like it is going to take some practice.

Until next time: run, run, run.


  1. Do you have a Running Room where you are? I know they have winter running clothes so you don't need so many layers. Might be a Canadian thing, I'm not sure.

  2. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll be checking out some of the local running shops for sure. I had to make it work with what I had on hand this morning.

  3. @haleydog2000 might have some suggestions. He duck hunts. I know it's not the same as running but he knows layering. Plus (not to plug) the store might have some items that he would suggest. The under armor type stuff really does nicely keeping you dry and warm with fewer layers. You can get that stuff anywhere. Is that Microfiber? You can tell I'm not a fashionista. LOL.

    On running in silence - it is great for a change up. I find that I don't obsess over how far I've gone or how much further I need to go when I do that sometimes. I LOVE the sound of my feet on the gravel at the end of our driveway.