Wednesday, December 30, 2009

"Pain don't hurt"

"Sparky" Anderson, the first manager to win a World Series as head of both an American and National League team once attempted to motivate one of his star players with the line "Pain don't hurt". Well, no offense to Sparky, but baseball is a summer sport, and you don't have to go outside in winter to prepare for it.

It's late December and it's no surprise that it's cold. But this is a serious kind of cold. Last night it was 12 degrees with a wind chill that makes it feel like -6. This wouldn't be a big deal except that the BU FitRec, the gym Rach and I belong to, is on a limited schedule because of the holidays. So, between our work schedules, dinner, and getting some stuff done around the house, the gym has been basically off limits.

But time waits for no man, especially with a race coming up in 3 days. So, out into the cold I went. I had a 55 minute workout planned initially, but I knew I wouldn't get through that. I was shooting for 20 minutes, and wound up at 22. And, I was able to manage a 13:15 pace, which is pretty good considering the conditions.

A key point to working out in the cold is of course proper clothing. Layers and protect from the wind are key, while still being able to wick away sweat from the body. I hadn't given much thought to my outfit for the New Year's Day race. But last night in my attempt to protect myself from the wind, I may have found just the right combination:

  • UnderArmour Cold Gear long sleeve top: Very warm top with sweat wicking capabilities
  • Nike Pro Running Tights: For being thin, these are quite warm. Also, I got them at Marshall's for a mere $12!
  • Columbia Sportswear parka shell - Windproof and breathable! My most important christmas present for winter workouts, keeps me warm and lets some excess heat out
  • Tooks Sportec Skully - One of my sponsors, and my parents bought me the "Took" I most wanted as a Christmas present! I'll be talking more about this in a later post.
  • Balaclava - While the Tooks skully is great and let's me wear headphones in the cold, it doesn't protect the face. I got the balaclava last year for christmas, but wore it only sparingly as Ohio winters haven't been this cold. It's going to be a staple of my running gear for the foreseeable future
  • gloves - I have a pair of tech gloves from 180 that I wear for running. Not the warmest, but they stop me from getting too hot.
  • warm socks - especially if there's any chance of rain or snow. Shoes are not windproof and the breathability leads to a lot of air passing through. Thick socks keep your feet warm, and can make you more comfortable.

We're supposed to swim today, but I'm also going back into the cold to get the rest of that run in from yesterday. Now that I know I've got the right wardrobe picked out, it shouldn't be a problem.

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