Braving the Cold

Winter running definitely has it's challenges.  For me, winter weather can range from 40F with the sun shining to -20F, blizzard-like conditions.  Anything really goes for winter in Maine.  

yes - VERY blurry, but the best one I could manage - it was not 11:21,
I cannot for the life of me set the time, and it was 54.9 degrees in the kitchen
brrrrr and do you see that negative sign?  
Yesterday's long run with the girls had it's challenges.  It was -12F when I left my house.  Unfortunately (or fortunately) the car I chose to take doesn't have a temp gauge, but Jill's does.  When we met at the Rail Trail at 7AM, she said her car was reading -4F.  I'm going to go with her temperature reading.  Thankfully, there was very little wind.  You never know what you're going to get when running along the river.  Even in the summer, you can get some brutal winds coming from the river.  

To be honest, I was very tempted by Jill's suggestion of us all going to the gym (where she's a member but the rest of us are not), paying the 1 day visitor pass, and running 10 miles on the treadmill in front of a tv.  I really was.  But then I thought it wouldn't really be nice of us to take up all 6 treadmills when 5 of us don't even belong to said gym.   

Anyway, all 6 of us braved the cold and showed up at the Rail Trail at our designated time.  When we first met up, our conversations went like this:

"How many shirts are you wearing?"  
"Do you want warmer gloves?"
"Will this jacket be warm enough or should I wear this one?"
"How about mittens?"
"Are you sure you don't want to wear this neckwarmer?"  
"How about a balaclava? I brought an extra one?"  
"Did you layer your tights?"
"Ward said I need to wear a hat over my balaclava, do you think I should?"

Lots to decide on before a run like this and we are all looking out for each other.  Then our run started.   We set out for our scheduled 10 mile run.  We had had a storm the other day and then some freezing rain afterwards, so we were a bit nervous as to what the Rail Trail would have in store for us because once they start clearing of the snow, there is very little drainage and conditions can get very slick.  I asked Ward to check it out the other night and to report back to me.  He reported that it was "fine, some crunchy ice, but you'll be okay".  Well, about 2 miles into the run, we all decided that Ward smokes crack.  It was so slick in spots!

About mile 4, I looked at Carrie and asked her how she was doing, we both said we were pretty tired after racing the day before at the Jan Thaw.  When we got to the 4.5 mile marker, I announced that I had to go back (the Rail Trail is an out and back). Knowing I had raced the day before and knowing that I have 16 more days left of my January Streak, I didn't want to push it anymore than necessary.  9 miles is still pretty gosh darn good in my book.   Jill, Stacy, and Carrie came with me, while Jess and Kim continued on.  
here are four out of the six - it was too cold to stick around and wait for them
& we (well, I did anyway) wanted to show off our frosty looks!
Boy am I glad we turned around.  While it was only a 1 mile difference, it's a huge difference (to me anyway) when my glutes are sore, when I'm streaking, and when I raced (pretty gosh darn well) the day before.  Plus, I needed to make sure I was in perfect mommy condition because Ward was going to be going out for his 18 miles when I got home.  No rest for me!  

if you look close enough, you can still see some ice on my eyelashes!  
So, what does one wear in such chilly conditions - my answer - layers, lots of layers.  A special thank you goes out to L.L.Bean for this one because a majority of my gear today had that awesome name attached to it.   

Above you'll see the top/outer layer - L.L. Bean balaclava, L.L. Bean thinsulate mittens (not pictured), Tommie Copper beanie (on top of the balaclava), L.L. Bean running jacket.  Yes, I had pants on, two pairs, actually, Wool Socks (WrightSocks were in the laundry), and Mizunos. 

Below, the 2nd layer - L.L. Bean Cresta Wool Base Layer, Target fleece lined pants.  

please excuse the missing baseboard - still waiting for Ward to finish it off, but if he did,
then we might actually have 1 completed room in the house!

Next up, Reebok winter weight shirt, L.L. Bean Power Dry Baselayer pants.  There's another layer, but we don't want to see that!  

Next up, today I got in my 3.5 mile virtual run for Toni's 34th birthday!  

Pepper & I took advantage of the temps being much higher than they were yesterday and sunshine, I think when we went out, it was about 15F, with some slight wind and went for a run.  She is getting much better at running beside me and not taking off like a rocket.  I did bring along my cell phone as well, just a good habit to get into.  Considering I was wiped after yesterday's run, we finished our 3.5 mile run in 29:17.  

Last few hours to enter my Zipfizz Giveaway!!!!   
Winner will be announced tomorrow on this blog.  

And while you're at it, enter my WrightSock Giveaway!!!  


  1. you. are. nutts. that is all. 

  2. Melissa ChristensenJanuary 16, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    wow, I feel like all of my runs that I did in the cold last year were lame compared to this!  The cold temps are probably one of the few things that I don't miss from MI!

  3. That is so cold!  The coldest we've run so far this winter is in 18 degree weather that felt like 9 degrees (that was actually at our race on Saturday).  I love that you have so many people to run with, amazing!

  4. Wow, that's cold!  I am to much of a wimp to go out in that.  It actually never gets that cold in Washington so I guess I don't need to worry about it.  Nice job and great layering ideas:)

  5. -4??? WOW. You are Winter Warriors! I would have been worn out just getting into all of those layers, lol.

  6. My car said -11! I think it sounds even better with that! 

  7. It is quite tiring getting dressed in all that and figuring out which layer should go on top of or under which.   But, I have my husband there helping me the whole time and giving me advice.  Plus, I've had lots of practice!  I like the name "Winter Warriors"!!!  

  8. There are many times I wished I lived somewhere else because I really hate the cold.  But, I love running too much to stop for the winter!!!  Thank you!

  9. 18 degrees (well, actually 9 because of the darn wind) is cold!  The fact that I have 5 other women at the trail waiting for me helps me get out the door in the morning - especially on those cold days when I don't really want to go!

  10. No way are they lame!  Cold is cold no matter where you are.  This is just how it is in Maine.  And hopefully it doesn't last long.   Thank you!

  11. Okay, we'll go with your -11!  I sure as heck hope it doesn't get any colder.  Hoping for 30+ for Midwinter Classic.  I may run that in shorts!  Ha!  

  12. wow I thought my run was crazy that is COLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and way to take the pup on the run and I love virtual races! nice time :)

  13. Jennifer SiewertsenJanuary 17, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    What a great run! Thanks for the pics of all your layers, otherwise I would've thought you were insane. Anything lower than freezing and i'm inside :) Way to go, streaker!

  14. Love the frost covered eyelashes!  That was some cold weather!  Fun fun!  Way to go getting in so many miles!

  15. You are brave to head out in the cold....I am not so brave but getting better.  Great time on the virtual run!!!  Thanks for participating!!


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