While many began their Thanksgiving morning with cooking, laughter or a late morning sleep in, this chick was up at 6am, putting in miles, 3.32 miles to be exact in 28 degree temps. Yes, you read that correctly…28 degree temps…Bbbrrr…and that does not include the wind chill;-). As with any run that I do, I always ask myself that reassuring questioning…am I prepared to do this? Well, I sure hoped that that I was because in less than 5 minutes, I was headed out the door to meet one of my BGR sisters and I couldn’t back out now.
Preparing the cold run, began the evening before where I pulled out everything I’d thought I need including earmuffs, 3 pairs gloves, base layer pants, sweatshirt, compression pants and more. What I ended up wearing was 2 pairs of gloves, 2 pairs of socks, Under Armour 4.0 Base Layer Women’s Pants, Nike Compression Running Pants, RBX Pullover with hoodie and thumb hole, Danskin Long Sleeve Dri Fit Pullover with zippered neck and thumb hole, compression calf sleeves, Under Armour Cable Knit Ski Hat, face Mask and my NEWTONS (love, love, love these shoes). And just for back up purposes, I took my black Champion pullover sweat shirt.
So the question still remains…Am I (Was I) READY for this winter type weather running and the answer is yes. Everything that I put on kept me warm from start to finish except for the gloves and socks, but the double up method was a test before actually purchasing some items that I’m sure will keep me well protected, but if a girl could have saved a few bucks then we would stay with the Walmart gloves and Hanes Socks. So let me give you a breakdown of the cost design and performance of each piece that I wore.
Under Armour SNOWMAGGEDON Women’s Ski Hat
Under Armour Store Potomac Mills, $9.95 (on sale, reg price approx. $16.99)
Cable Knit, with pom pom (so BGR 😉 and soft, fleece lining. Can be worn with or without the lining flipped up, but I wore it with the fleece flipped down to cover my ears. Also covers the nape of neck when worn this way. Head and ears were warm during the entire run, no overheating or feel of the cold. Definitely worth purchasing and adding to your winter running gear wardrobe. Though the head feels dry, the fleece lining ONLY (my experience) will be wet to touch when you remove it. I just turned the hat inside out and it was dry before the end of the day.
Zanheadgear Neoprene 3-Panel Half Mask
Amazon.com, $6.44 (as of today, still available on amazon.com for $8.40)
One the best investments I could have made. Purchased last year and arrived within 7 working days.
Covers the cheeks, nose, chin and front of neck. Opening for the nose and a breathable panel for the mouth. Connects/closes behind the head via velcro, but strong. No slippage. Soft and comfortable. Face feels completely warm and protected from the cold. While it is breathable, I did find myself pulling the mask down from my face a few times to release of some of the warmth, but very easy to pull back up over the nose and mouth without breaking stride (we runners hate that don’t we). Be sure to not wrap too tight around head as it can create a breathing fog for those of us who wear glasses.
Danskin Now Dri More ¼ Zip Pullover Jacket (100% Polyester Blend)
Walmart, $7.00 (on sale last winter)
Thin, but warm. Used this as my base layer, but wear it as a top layer over a dri fit singlet during warmer temps (45-65 degrees). Pulls moisture away from skin, so I stayed dry (reducing chance of catching a cold). Zips to cover bottom of neck 360 degrees. Has a thumb hole to pull sleeves half way over hands for additional coverage.
RBX Brushed Fleece ¼ Zip Hoodie
TJ Maxx, $16.99 (regular $60.00 online)
Lightweight, warm and flattering on the figure ;-). Just the right amount of fleece lining, no bulky look. Used as my top layer (and will be returning to TJ Maxx to get more). Though I felt the cold, I wasn’t cold. Worn in combination with the Danskin Pullover, provided a great balance of warmth and coolness for my core which made the run very enjoyable despite the cold temp. Pulled the hoodie over my ski hat to see if would stay or slide as I ran. No slippage or pulling feeling. In fact, it felt so comfortable, I forgot that I had pulled the hoodie over until I looked in the mirror when I returned to my car. Pullover also has a thumb hole to pull sleeves half way over hands for additional coverage. Again, perfect combination.
Under Armour 4.0 Base Layer
Under Armour Store Potomac Mills Mall, $84.00 (40% off sale when purchased 11/27/13)
Worn under my Nike Running Pants. Has a grid pattern fleece lining throughout the entire length of the leg. Even when worn under my running pants, I didn’t feel as if I had on too much clothing. You immediately begin to feel the insulation provided by the base layer. And like the RBX, does not give a bulky look for feel. Again, while I felt the cold, I was not cold. Thinner outer fabric from the calves down, which I’m assuming is the ventilation design to keep the body cool. Band sits just above the hip, so it may give you the feeling that the pants will slide down when your run, but they didn’t. Very comfortable fit and worth the investment.
Nike Legend 2.0 Running Pants/Tights
TJ Maxx, $25.00
I love these pants! Light weight, still compresses and makes the booty looks boom, boom, pow, wow! Sits a little high on the waist, but those of us with a little more booty, we can appreciate a high a pair of pants. Slid over base layer without difficulty. Again, no bulky look or feel. Because it is made with a light blend of fabric, if wearing alone (in warmer temps) I would suggest wearing dark colored undies.
Zensah Compression Calf Sleeves
ATM Expo, $40.00 (can order online zensah.com)
Great fit, good circulation. Wore underneath Under Armour base layer pants. Protects against shin splints and I can be very prone to those. I love the way my legs feel even when I’m wearing them around the house. Worth the investment.
Decided to double up on this one. While most of the hands stayed warm, the finger tips were cold at the beginning of the run, but soon began to warm up within 5 minutes. Eventually, I had to remove 1 pair as the hands became too hot. Although this is great inexpensive solution, I don’t like cold fingertips for any amount of time and will return to Under Armour to purchase a pair of Infrared Gloves (will provide review on gloves). Under Armour has a 60 day return policy, worn or unworn, just as long as the return is accompanied by the original receipt. If not, instead of cash, you will receive a store credit. Either way, you don’t have to keep what doesn’t’ work for you ;-).
Dry wick and Hanes Cotton Socks
Dry wick from TJ Maxx, $5.99 bundle of 6 and Hanes 4pk Ankle Socks
Decided to double up on socks as well, dry wick, base layer with Hanes as top layer. As with the gloves, all was warm, except my toes, but soon began to warm up within 5 minutes. Didn’t feel as if my feet were too hot, eventually felt comfortable, but again, because I don’t like cold toes for any amount of time and will return to Pacers to purchase a pair of Smart wool socks and order a pair of customizable wool insert from Amazon.com. Once purchased, I’ll provide a review of these items.
Pacers, $20.00 (can be ordered from SPIbelt.com
Lightweight, stretchable, waist belt that can hold a multitude of things. I’ve carried my iPhone, keys, ID, credit card, cash, hand sanitizer, tissue and lip balm at one time. Fits snug around the waist. Does not slip or shift. Great buy. For this run, it held my keys, phone and extra pair of gloves once I pulled them off.
Going to skip the review on the running shoes as it is highly recommended that you go to a specialty running store for a gait analysis and professional recommendation of shoes based on that analysis.
While there appeared to be some layering going on for this run, the look was clean and sleek. Most items can be purchased for $25.00 or less. Therefore, making running good for your health and your wallet. Until next time….be blessed and happy running;-).