It’s Cold Outside . . . let’s Run!

I need to update a little before I get into todays run: the bursitis in my left hip flared up again during our 18 mile run last weekend (actually it make me stop running at mile 13 and walk the last five). It was so bad that I actually went to the doctor Monday morning. After a couple of X-rays, he gave me some meds, an injection into the bursa sac, and told me to rest for 3-4 days.

I made it the entire four days without completely losing my mind of killing someone (although it was close a couple of times). I wanted to try a short run Friday, but the weather and work didn’t allow for it so I waited until this morning (Saturday) to try out the hip on a 12 mile run.

It was windy, cold, and dark as the members of the iCan Running Group gathered at Gray’s Lake. When we got started, it was 36 degrees, with winds gusting from almost every direction imaginable. Before we took off, Coach Loran said that we have all got the tough miles in, and with three weeks left there is nothing that can be done that will alter our marathon. Coach said that due to the weather, we should aim for 6-8 miles and that would be good enough. Hearing that made me happy, because even though I like the long runs, I wanted to test this hip out. So we stretched, and off we went!

Cold and windy, with lots of wind gusts, that’s what greeted us running across the bridge and almost everywhere we went. I was glad I wore layers and gloves, although I hate having to put them on so early. When I got back to the start, I had 7 miles in. The hip felt pretty good, with only slight discomfort. I’m hoping that by race day it will be 100%.

Running in winter in Iowa can be quite a challenge, especially when the temperatures swing drastically up or down. There’s ice and snow to maneuver around, adding to the challenge. There are ways to get a nice outdoor run in during the winter months, and here are some of the things I do to prepare for winter running:

1. Thermal running pants or tights: These pants will keep your legs warm on some very cold days. I have several pair, each one made for a different temperature.

2. Thermal running socks: I have the knee high thermal socks and they go under the tights to give an extra layer.

3. Layers: I wear an under-shirt and over-shirt with the under-shirt tucked into the tights to keep out drafts and wind. The over-shirt is long sleeved and usually a dry-fit type shirt. Then a hoodie, sweatshirt, or running jacket goes over that.

4. Gloves: Your hands need protection too! They make running gloves where the fingertips are a special material, so you can operate your iPhone.

5. Mask: On really cold days, I wear a running mask. It does tend to cause my sunglasses to fog up, but at least my head stays warm. I just have to remember to take it off BEFORE entering a convenience store.

6. Tracks or cleats: They make tracks for your shoes to help running on snow and ice. While I haven’t needed them yet, the time is coming.

Now that you’re all bundled up, it’s time to run in the frozen tundra! I hope this helps you with outdoor running in winter.

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Live healthy, be happy!

Travis

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