Wednesday, January 13, 2010

man i'm boring- winter layers

Seriously boring I tell you. I just have nothing to say because I don't feel like there is much going on. I go to work, do my work, work out at lunch, come home, run, eat, sleep and then repeat. I don't make anything particularly interesting or picturesque for dinner, so that isn't all that fascinating. So, since I don't feel like have a tonne to say, in honour of the crazy cold weather that has been hitting the southern states, I thought I'd outline a typical cold weather running outfit for those of us who ALWAYS have to bundle up in the winter. The key, of course, is layering.
Layer 1:
(yup, that's right, I just posted my underwear on the internet. lovely)
On top, the "Athletic Deep V" tank from lululemon. I'm guessing that what I have is version I or II of it, but I think the website link is pretty close to what I have. I like it because it is supportive (hence the no sports bra as layer 1) and wicks away all the sweaty goodness that pours out of my body when I start to run. On the bottom- Technikini briefs also from lululemon. Cotton on the butt is NOT good for winter running (or really any running) because you sweat, it gets wet, it stays wet, it gets cold and it freezes. Frozen booty is NOT a good thing.

Layer 2:

On top- my very favourite running shirt by North Face. I think it might be an "Impulse Tee". Regardless, it is part of the "Flight Series" and I love everything about it. Tech fabric, soft, thumb holes (or as they call them on the website "monkey thumbs"), well cut...just a really good long sleeve running shirt. And of course- it keeps me warm. On the bottom- a pair of New Balance tights (similar to these). These are new to me- I've only worn them since Christmas because my sister picked them up for me at a really good price. They're my first real pair of "tights" and they are a nice base layer on the bottom. They are tight at the ankle so that the wind and snow can't get at my bare ankles, they have a pocket, and they're pretty darn comfy. On the hands- "Vapor Gloves" by the Running Room. They kind of sound bad-ass with that name, but mostly they are just a good base layer that is nice and wicking (do you sense a theme? you need sweat wicking in the summer AND the winter).

Layer 3:
On top- another new sale item from New Balance- the Nbx Wind Blocker Mid zip. I quite enjoy this one as well. It blocks the wind well, has a soft layer that touches your skin (not that it is touching any skin at these temperatures due to being a top layer) and a pocket! I love the pocket! It fits my ipod, a GU and even a pocket warmer. Plus it (and the pants) has a pull out tag that allows you to write some "in case of emergency" contact information (have I actually written anything on it yet? no, but that's beside the point). Most importantly though, it is wind proof. Wind blocker is in the name and wind blocking is VERY important in the winter. On the bottom- a lululemon pant that I don't know the name of. Regardless of their name, they are a good late fall, winter, early spring pant. They have a bit of a soft slightly insulated layer on the inside, so that's nice, and while this usually ISN'T something I like- they are a bit of a higher rise. In the winter, a higher rise pant is kind of nice because it adds an extra layer around your middle. I've come home with "pink belly" before because my middle wasn't adequately insulated. While these pants aren't windproof on their own, when layered with the New Balance tights or a pair of long undewear (i have some MEC brand long johns). 
On my head and neck- the Vapor hat and neck gator. I got a gift set that had the gloves, the hat and the "neck-warmer" (also in the picture) and they are very useful pieces for winter running.  
On my hands- random knit rainbow mittens. When it gets really cold, it is nice to have two layers on my hands and as gross as it sounds, the wool is good for wiping the inevitable runny nose...And last but not least- on my feet-some "Cush" socks. The sign of a good winter sock is when you step into some slush and either don't notice or notice at first but the feeling of cold quickly goes away. There should be no cold feet in winter running!

The day of this particular running outfit, I came home from my long run with a half filled bottle of Gatorade that looked like this:
Slurpee anyone?
Because of that, I often bring more water and/or gatorade than I need just in case it turns into slurpee or in case the nozzle freezes and I can't get anything out. And just to get an idea of how much I sweat- my gatorade was slushy, parts of my hair were frozen, but I still had salt on my face when I came in.

So that's a little idea of what we northern winter runners have to bundle up in when the temperatures plummet (and I've run in colder temps with more layers...). Is it worth it? Almost always yes. It can be frustrating to have to pull on so many clothes and sometimes the wind is just punishing, but overall, it isn't so bad. (although running on fresh "loose" snow is really quite terrible)

Hope you are all keeping warm wherever you are and hopefully I'll have some fun stories to tell soon.


S said...

I used to enjoy running outside in cold weather, but I've developed a weird finger issue. Anytime it's below 50 outside, half of my fingers get frost nip. It's really quite freaky. They go completely white and lose feeling. I have to soak my hands in warm water for way too long to get them to pink back up. I kind of like my fingers, so I just run on a treadmill now. Boo. Have you ever known anyone else to have this problem? Know of any possible solutions?

k said...

S- have you ever heard of "Raynaud's Phenomenon" or "raynaud's syndrome"? It sounds kind of like what you are describing.

S said...

That's exactly what it is. It's associated with hypothyroidism, which I've got, so I'm comfortable making the self-diagnosis. I've googled this finger thing several times, which is where I came up with the term "frost nip", but I've never found Raynaud's. I guess my google searching skills need to be honed. Now I know that if it gets worse, there are medications that can help. Thanks.

Heather said...

I have Raynaud's and as long as I don't let my fingers get cold, it's usually ok. I have to have my gloves and mitts on, and they have to stay on the whole time. If I let my hands get cold when I'm outside, they never seem to warm up. I wear really warm mitts and put them on inside, and off I go! (If I have to take them off to tie my shoelace or something, then I try to blow on them and then quickly put them back in the mitts. Or I go in a store and tie my shoe).

Heather said...

K you should have said "to-quay" in a southern accent!!!

I really dig this post!

k said...

It is true...I really should have qualified that I don't wear a "toque", I wear a "toe-kay".

Is it strange that what I miss the most about her podcast is her accent?

lu said...

eek, don't soak your cold fingers in water as the best way to heat up cold extremities is to wrap them up in dry layers and allow them to warm up slowly.

this i learned from working with field guys in the oil and gas industry - we have a lot of frost nip, front bite, and other cold related injuries so i had to do research on it.

just my two cents!

Runner Leana said...

Love seeing all your layers! Maybe I'll be inspired to run outside at -20 a bit more now!!

I could so not just wear an athletic V as my base layer. My girls need more support than that!