Since my mom can't travel to visit us any longer, I am trying to be more intentional about going to visit her as often as I can. Even though we were all just up there for Thanksgiving and we'll all be up there again for Christmas Eve, I needed a visit where it is just me and I don't have to worry about the rest of the family being bored. A week or so ago, I got an email about a Jingle Run going on the same morning I was going to drive up to Indianapolis ... what's that? A race? Sign me up! And since it's more than a 5k but was a fundraiser anyway, I went ahead and registered for the 10k and just planned to drive straight to the packet pick up that morning, run, then head back to Mom's house ... easy peasy.
And then ... winter.
It was so cold on Saturday. I didn't really know what to wear so I brought extras of everything, just in case. I started out wearing one pair of socks, running tights (capris on a normal-height person, hit above the ankle for me), a long sleeve tech shirt, a long sleeve pullover with thumbholes, and my running jacket that's lined with polar fleece. I also brought an ear-warmer thing to wear and gloves (cheap-o ones).
I get to the parking garage next to Bankers' Life Fieldhouse and check the weather app -- 20 degrees with a windchill of single digits. So I add a pair of socks (toe socks, but they're red/white striped for Christmas and I wore my Balega socks over them), another pair of running tights, and a Santa hat. It has a beard so if I needed the extra windbreak on my face, I could pull out the beard. I left it tucked up inside the hat though for additional head-warmth. Also smeared Aquaphor on my face to protect against windburn.
Packet pickup was that morning so I picked up bib and the t-shirt -- I thought it was going to be a tech shirt but it was a long-sleeve cotton T. Since I thought it would be a tech shirt though, I ordered a Large -- which as a cotton unisex size was way too big for me. I could either take it back out to the car or wear it for more festive colors ... so I was able to wear it OVER my jacket ... for those keeping count, that makes 4 layers up top. And the pros were wearing shorts and singlets. Freaks.
No one was heading outside until it was time for the race to start so there were a lot of people warming up inside -- pretty much everyone had on holiday attire or Santa hats or reindeer headbands. Everyone was given jingle bells to put on their shoes too. Quite fun, actually. There were only about 300 people doing the 10k so we got out there for the start. I brought my interval timer again and had left it on the 5 min/30 sec ... but didn't plan to start it until after running the first mile through.
Gosh, it was cold. Did I mention that? But the race started and it was fun looking at all the costumes people were wearing while we were running. Not many people were out and about in downtown Indianapolis and since this wasn't a big race, no spectators. Or maybe there would have been if it hadn't been so cold. Anyway, I settled into my pace and just wanted to get it over with so I could get to my mom's house.
And then ... toe socks. I've come to the conclusion that toe socks are NOT meant for running. I have worn these things a few times and don't really like them anyway ... I'm a mitten fan for hands and feet. I guess my toes don't like being separated from each other. I don't know ... but doggone it if this wasn't the third holiday race I've worn these things and also the third race where I've worn them AND got killer leg cramps. Before, I blamed going out too fast or not having trained sufficiently. Common denominator has been these socks. Killer leg cramps hit me at about mile 1.5 and I was thinking that I'd end up walking the rest of the 10k. When I finally got through those cramps, I started running the intervals and lived for those 30 second walk breaks.
Remember how cold it was? There was one water station but the route looped back to it so there were basically two water stops at the same table. I don't know when they set up the water but I'm sure it was that morning since the table was in the middle of the road. When I went through for my first water stop, the water was REALLY cold. When I circled back and made it to the 2nd water stop, there was a layer of ice I had to break before I could drink my water!
Also, right around mid-way through the race, I realized that two pairs of pants, 4 layers up top, and a non-breathable hat meant I had too many clothes on. And it was cold ... colder now that I was sweating through everything and the cold air was hitting it. Shazam was it cold. But I was able to finish in a decent time ... 1:10:04 -- not a PR but considering I had to walk about 1/2 mile at the beginning, I was surprised!
And as a fundraiser for the Arthritis Foundation, the race itself was sponsored by Eli Lilly and Meijers so there were loads of goodies at the finish line. I got one of everything and got back to the garage where I promptly forgot which floor I had parked on. Hello, hypothermia.
I really do like having a race to keep me motivated to keep running. Next up is a 10 mile race on New Year's Day. Kind of hoping for a PR there since the other 10 mile races I've done have been the Papa John's which includes Iroquois Mountain. We shall see ...
So I need suggestions on what are good articles of clothing for cold-weather running. Tips?