Monday, January 9, 2017

Week in Review: Great Start to 2017!

Last week was COLD.  Our temperatures started to plummet on Wednesday into single digit temps. Then the wind came and the "feels like negative" temperatures arrived.  I had zero choice but to make it work (still no home treadmill, still no gym membership here) and it was one of the most fun weeks of running that I have had in a while.

Previously I considered anything below the teens in temperature to be a call to move it indoors.  Last week I wanted to challenge myself to see I could still continue outdoors.  Partly this was because I follow a ton of runners on Instagram and seeing other people make it work was motivational.  Mostly this was because if I didn't continue, my mileage would tank.

You likely have read that the key to running in extreme cold is layers.  This is true.  I have experimented with various combos and have found that for me, the following is clutch:

Fleece lined tights - these Athleta ones are my favorite
Knee-high compression socks
Short sleeved shirt (top layer 1)
Long sleeved shirt (top layer 2)
Wind resistant pullover (top layer 3) - love the Sugoi Firewall line
Winter running jacket (top layer 4)
Running gloves (layer 1)
Sweater mittens (layer 2)
Winter Hat - cast those "running hats" aside.  The warmest hat I have is a Green Bay Packers fleece lined pom pom hat.  Likely designed for fans watching football at the frozen tundra.
Sunglasses - great wind blockers!
Aquaphor all over exposed skin on the face

Running in extreme cold is definitely a mind over matter situation.  Last Tuesday it was so windy and there were moments where I could not imagine being any colder.  To combat this, I intentionally ran neighborhood loops so that I was not going in one direction for too long.  Just when I could not take the wind in my face, it was time to change direction for a reprieve.

The nice thing about extreme cold last week is that the ground was clear.  The warm week + no precipitation we had at the end of December made all of the sidewalks and roads much clearer.

My goal last week was to get at least 4 running days in, including a long run of one hour on the weekend. I ran 6 days.  Woohoo!

Monday January 2: 2.12 miles, 16:33 (7:49 avg pace)

This was a rough run for me.  I felt tired and blech.  I ran at night after spending the entire day cleaning out our house to accommodate a large remodeling project we are starting.  I should not have saved my run for night!

Tuesday January 3: 4.59 miles, 34:25 (7:30 avg pace)

Wednesday, January 4: 5.01 miles, 37:50 (7:33 avg pace)

Wednesday I have aftercare services so I don't have to worry about being home at a certain time for kids.

Thursday, January 5: 3.34 miles, 24:24 (7:18 avg pace)

Tuesday and Thursday were runs done after work before my daughter gets off the bus. You can see the wide variability of when the bus drop off occurs.  A good illustration of why when I have actual mileage goals for these days, this is NOT a good time to plan on running!

Friday, January 6: Off

Saturday, January 7: 9.01 miles, 1:03:40 (7:04 avg pace)

It was still super cold on Saturday but the sun was shining which gave the appearance that it was a nice day.  This was my second run in my Saucony ISO and I really like these shoes.  This was a great run.

Mile 1:  7:14
Mile 2:  7:14
Mile 3:  7:19
Mile 4:  7:13
Mile 5:  7:10
Mile 6:  6:46
Mile 7:  6:52
Mile 8:  6:55
Mile 9:  6:55

Still rocking those negative splits!

Sunday, January 8: 4.5 miles, 34:08 (7:35 avg pace)

Traditionally, I have always taken the day after a long run off.  I will be attempting the Hanson's Marathon Method for my spring marathon, which has you running the day after long runs.  This will be a big change for me so I wanted to try it to get a sense of what it would feel like.  Although my legs were tired, I felt much better than I was expecting to.  However, today (Monday) I am WIPED out.  I need to start being more disciplined about when I go to bed, particularly because my son still wakes up at least once a night most nights.  #allIwantforChristmasisonenightofuninterruptedsleep #shitChristmasisover

Total Weekly Mileage: 28.57

The week ahead is my final week before my marathon training plan starts!


  1. Great week! My approach to really cold weather is not to layer too much, but to have gear that's rated for very cold temperatures. Like I will wear a winter running jacket with a thin long-sleeved shirt under, and that's it. That said, I think my body heats up more than the average person when I run, so I can be comfy in single digits wearing a thin base layer and a jacket only. You totally killed that 9-mile run. Great splits!

    1. yes looking for winter temps is a must. i think the thing that makes me the coldest is wind which has been insane lately. i also like layering because then I can shed things once I actually warm up. The first mile in the extreme cold is THE WORST!