O Nemo – I thought you were just a cute animated fish (ha.ha.ha.)…
The storm was challenging – not the sort of welcome home one hopes for. No power for two days and in less than half of one of those days truth stood embarrassingly naked before us – we were powerless . Our only option was to welcome the reality of our electrically dependent lives and sit uncomfortably with it in the dark cold nights that followed.
Blessed am I to have a father with a brilliant mind and braver attitude. He had spent the summer prepping wood – we had enough dry wood – enough to share to help others. He built an addition in our house that could act as a cold room in the winter – our food did not go to waste – we fed others. He is brave and loving and does the right thing – we took in an elderly neighbor who’s family did abandon her. We worked together to keep the fires burning through the night – wood every hour and a half so pipes would not freeze – we made it work because we had too.
The storm was a great way to wake up. A great way to test the mind and embrace reality.
As well as one of the slushiest nastiest set of hill repeats in the sleeting days that followed (no pictures for that one).
When faced with difficulties we can crumble. Or, choose to accept the discomfort -the strangeness and simply move forward redefining our reality if and where necessary.
I write you now from New Hampshire where I’ve been taking care of my sister’s child and pup. This is what Valentines Day looks like with a 9 year old…
Disclaimer: Please take into consideration that the suggestions and reviews found here are given by an athlete that up until one week ago has spent the past 5 years running in 80 degree weather – needless to say she is sensitive to the cold.
Knowing what to wear for cold weather running was my biggest question about the transition. I bought items based on their tag descriptions and what I could remember of what it’s like to sweat in cold weather. I’m happy to say it’s almost perfect.
Below is an image of an outfit that has been tested in 20-25 degree weather with snow and light winds as well as 30-36 degrees with sun and light winds. Each piece has a corresponding number and break down…read on!
1. A good base layer is a must. You want something that’s going to pull moisture away from the skin and of course as runners we want something light. lululemon’s Run: Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve performs beautifully. It actually wicks so well that when I take off the shirt my body is dry – the shirt damp from collecting all the sweat. The entire shirt is a mesh fabric that is form fitting. It has thumbholes so it’s easy to layer and provides extra warmth on the plams. An added benefit you can’t see here is the silver fiber’s that are woven in to the cloth to keep bacteria from growing – helps cut down on the funky smell sweaty gear gets over time. Another great thing about this piece is its ability to transition into warmer months due to it’s ability to breath and its light weight.
2. So this piece is one of the best investments I’ve ever made. Again a lululemon garment – the Run: What The Fluff Pullover. It’s made with goose down (no live plucking for those who are concerned) so it’s ridiculously light and warm. Something I didn’t know about goose down till tested – it’s phenomenal in the wind. When I turned into the head wind I expected it to cut right into me and was joyus when I kept running like it wasn’t-nothin’-but-a-thang. Yeeeeah. The sides have stretch panels that allow for greater range of motion and the super high neck eliminates the need for another piece of clothing – it does the job of a neck warmer perfectly. In 23-25 degrees I only needed this and the Swiftly Tech. In 36 degrees with sun I ended up zipping down the collar for ventilation (note: it also has armpit vents and zips for further cooling if you desire). If it were to get below 20 I would layer with a thicker base like the Runder Under Long Sleeve.
3. Running tights are also a necessity. My favorite thing about the Runder Unders from lululemon is that they are soft against the skin and are not cold to put on first thing in the morning. Cold spandex is no fun. The waist on these are great too. It’s a high rise and stays put. Perfect in the 30 degree range but did find my thighs getting very chilly half way through a long run in 25 degrees. I am tempted to try the Run: Ice Queen pant – it might provide I but extra protection from the cold or layer a very thin tight under them. Also – you don’t have to get stripes – they have solid black as well :-).
4. So I layered tall compression socks under my running tights (#3) for the 20 degree day and was happy to report that while my quads were freezing my calves were quite content. CEP are by far the best brand I’ve tried. Note – no need for this extra layer above 30.
5. Get a head band – a wide one. The wide ones stay in place and keep everything warm. This one is North Face – found on sale at REI and really lucked out. It’s the right weight – not too thin that wind gets into it but I also don’t feel like I’m sweating it off – good in the 20’s and 30’s. There may be better one’s out there but honestly have no complaints so far.
6. GLOVES. last but NOT least. These are Eastern Mountain Sports – Not impressed. And after having to carry hand warmers I think I’ll opt for mittens next time and something a little thicker. Again I’m a wuss in the cold so thin gloves may be enough for you but I’m still searching for the right pair. If you have any suggestions please share!!!
Oh – 7. Wood Stove. Totally optional but totally WONDERFUL to warm up shoes by before you head out and PERFECT for drying out sweaty garments post run ;-).
One more thing to mention – I’ve also gotten a down vest the lululemon Run: What The Fluff Vest ( I would link for you but I can’t seem to find it on their site) It’s a light weight down vest. For when the weather warms – I’d say 40’s and above – I’ll use a Runder Under and the Vest or even just the Swiftly Tech and Vest.
Well that’s all I got! Happy running!!!
Flames lick the soot seared window of my father’s wood stove. It’s 17 degrees outside. Curtains are drawn to keep out the cold and I sink deep into the old leather couch – deep into my beaming blue scooba hoodie and even deeper into visualizations of what is to come.
I wasn’t sure how it would feel. For 5 + years my life has been in Hawaii. My heart has been there. How would it feel to uproot and transplant into a place I had outgrown so long ago? To leave the warm sea, the sweet sunshine…
the laughter of a life lived in paradise…
Well for right now it feels peaceful. It feels right. It’s time to tuck into a cocoon of creation and development…
A person who is very special to me recently shared an incredible find. It’s a list of 36 things to be mindful of in life. They are simple – beautiful – and true. So today I share #35 –
“Keep Evolving. Stay on a path of personal Development and stay alert for opportunities for shifts and growth.”
I am grateful – thankful – for this opportunity. My promise to myself, and those whose support I am fortunate enough to embrace, is to make the most of this opportunity in every way and embrace whatever growth and shifts it brings.