Baby, it’s cold outside
It’s late fall and my home region has been slammed with an unseasonably cold chill. Combine that with the shorter days and running can seem like the least appealing idea ever.
Now, I say “chill” but I feel the need to qualify that. I’m from California. We don scarves the second the thermometer dips below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. We dread frost on roofs and windshields like it’s the harbinger of death and destruction. If anything but a sunny 72 degrees persists for longer than three days, we become cranky and listless.
So the fact that the temperature has held steady just above freezing and just up to the low 40s has thrown us Californians into a bit of a hissy fit. It’s also forced me to get a little creative with my running wardrobe. Biggest lesson learned: even with the low temperatures, my predisposition to overheating means no additional layers are required. I burn up just thinking about zip-up track jackets and running pants. I appeased my boyfriend by wearing small cotton goves during one 36-degree run and wanted to diiiiie because I was so hot. Give me a headband, compression socks and shorts in any weather!*
For darkness, I went a little unconventional. I did buy a headlamp
, which has red and white light settings, is decently bright and easy to swivel to illuminate whatever range of distance I want, and is reasonably priced. Even when my forehead gets super sweaty or I put it on over my bangs, this bad boy stays put. It’s also compact enough that I can wrap the strap around my wrist or stuff it in my little wrist wallet thing. Being able to see has made a world of difference to my pace (and ankles) to my pace while running at night.
Besides wanting to see in the dark, I also want to be seen. Unfortunately, although a lot of activewear is designed now with reflective trimmings and whatnot, I didn’t want to go out and buy a lot of new clothes. I did the next best thing I could think of, which was go to a sports store and see what kind of reflective tape or wrist bands were available. Overall, I went to one general sporting goods store and two cycling stores but didn’t really find what I was looking for (at least not for the price I was looking for), which was essentially this:
My next stop was a craft store, where I found 9″ x 9″ sheets of reflective/sparkly sticky paper. At about 1/10 the price of the reflective cycling tape, I didn’t feel guilty about cutting up the sheets into different shapes or losing them on my runs if they peeled off (other than the obvious littering aspect).
If anyone else has better suggestions for running at night or in the cold without getting run over or overheating, I would love to hear them!
*I don’t understand my tendency to overheat. I have long limbs and not-so-great circulation, which normally means that I am always, always cold. It’s not unusual for my fingernails and toenails to turn blue from cold in the winter. Likewise, I can tolerate heat or hot weather almost without limit. So what gives?