Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Winter is Coming..and Ultrarunning

The bride recently told me, "You know, your blog doesn't really have much Ultrarunning stuff, does it?"

True that.  I started this blog off some 5 years ago focused upon Ultrarunning, then over the years I found my attention being diverted more and more to "philosophy...politics...other stuff" as I say on my masthead.

So...I do plan to include a return to a bit more Ultrarunning.

What better way than to do a post about layering up for winter running?

But before I do, you MUST watch this clip of the Jon Snow character from Games of Thrones from a recent appearance on Seth Meyers late night show.  Link is here if the embedded video playeth not.

OK, back to Ultrarunning...seriously.

I definitely am not a masochist, but I do confess to a warm, fuzzy--OK, smug--feeling when I'm out there and the other runners aren't.  Some of my greatest runs have occurred, when by any objective standard, the weather stinks. In a certain sense, there's no such thing as bad weather, only weather for which you are unprepared.

Here in south-central PA we get our share of cold weather, though not as severe as other areas. But regardless of the absolute temperature, we all know the standard advice is that you gotta go in layers. That's correct, but what you don't really hear emphasized very much is the flip side--that you also gotta be willing to peel off those layers as you warm up and with temperature/wind changes.

For example, in say 0-20 degree F weather I wear a long sleeve polypro type turtleneck under a windproof jacket. Given those temps that outfit generally remains static during the run.

However...what if the temp is a bit warmer, say in the 20s or lower 30s?  I often find I am a just a tad too layered up with the outfit above.  So if I sense that I'm sweating a little too much I'll unzip the shell or even take it off, tying it around my waist.  It is important to do that prior to getting your base layer long sleeve top all sweated up.

If the temp is in the upper 30s or above, I typically wear the long sleeve turtleneck base layer, as above, with a sleeveless vest rather than a full windproof jacket.

In any case, regardless of temperature, I'm always tinkering with my hat, gloves, whether I push my sleeves up, etc.  In other words, you must actively manage your personal microclimate. Sure, it's a minor hassle to peel clothes off/on. You can't avoid getting damp from sweat but you definitely want to avoid getting wet.

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