Thursday, December 12, 2013

Cold weather running

I received an interesting e-mail today from the organizers of the Hot Chocolate race that I am running on Sunday in regards to the weather on race day.  It was a little intimidating, I admit.  It seems as though the temperature on Sunday at the starting line is expected to be 5 (!) degrees.  In anticipation of the frigid temperatures, the race organizers have made a few adjustments, including canceling the Kids Zone area, changing the requested pace per mile for the 15K from 15 minutes to 13 minutes to reduce the risk of exposure, and altering the wave start times.  The e-mail also mentioned that frostbite can occur within 10-15 minutes of exposure at these temperatures.

I don't feel as though my wardrobe is prepared for this weather.  I have running capris, but I specifically did not invest in a pair of pants, because in all honesty, my legs do not get cold when I run, just my upper body. I imagine, though, that my legs will be cold if it is 5 degrees.  As far as my upper body goes, I have a long sleeve Under Armour shirt that I plan to wear and I am getting a pretty sweet hoodie in my swag bag for the Hot Chocolate race, but do I also need to wear another jacket over that?  I get really hot when I run, but then I wonder, is it possible to be "hot" at all when it is 5 degrees?  The e-mail also suggested wearing a hat since significant heat loss occurs through your head and covering the lower half of your face.  I don't think I will wear a hat, per se, but I am planning to wear an earband I got in Kirksville the last time I ran in cold weather and I think this will be enough for me.  I'm not sure about covering the lower half of my face; I don't want to run in a scarf, so I am wondering what else I could use to cover my face.  So many things to think about with cold weather running!

I know one thing, though, I will be slathering my lips with Aquaphor! I am obsessed with my Aquaphor Lip Repair +Protect.  Last winter, I had a horrible time with chapped lips.  I think it was partly due to the fact that I had an allergic reaction to a new product I tried on my lips, but I was also running a lot in the cold and not protecting my lips.  I tried everything last year and nothing worked, not even lip balms with triple-antibiotics, until I found Aquaphor.  I've heard great things about Aquaphor as far as its moisturizing and anti-chafing benefits, but I had never tried their lip balm.  I'm hooked, though!  My lips started getting chapped really early this year; in October instead of January or February, but I've been using Aquaphor Lip Repair +Protect and it has been a lifesaver!  Disclaimer: I was not asked to review this product.  I am just a huge fan and wanted to share it.  The opinions expressed are my own.
This has been a must-have for me, particularly during this brutal cold spell we've been having!
What tips and tricks would you share regarding cold weather running and what should one wear when running in frigid temperatures?

"You were born with strong, capable legs. Winter does not change that. No excuses. Run."