Hey, so guess what? It’s winter! Now, I know many of you have already realized this and have been dealing with a lot of snow, but here in the Washington, D.C. area, we’ve had a pretty mild season. And I think we sort of skipped over last winter too. But these past few weeks have been cold. With snow!
Now, as a native Midwesterner, I can’t help but laugh when the city goes into crisis when we get an inch of snow. It’s an inch of snow! Admittedly, there are reasons for this:
- This area doesn’t have the equipment to clear snow. Sure, there are plows and salt trucks, but not like there are in cities that regularly get a lot of snow.
- Because snow isn’t common, a lot of people don’t know how to drive in snow. The running joke is that five snowflakes fall and accidents start on the highway.
So in general, I don’t mind the winter. However, when it comes to outdoor activities, it isn’t fun. The other day, was too lazy to dry my hair and in the 5-10 minute walk from the parking garage to my office, my hair froze. (I knew this would happen and find it hilarious.) And then there’s running outside in the cold.
When there is heavy snow and ice, I find it tough to run outside. Thankfully, that’s rare here, because I always feel like I’m risking falling or injuring my ankles. Typically, I’m just doing long runs in the cold with maybe a bit of patchy snow. That means bundling up.
I like to feel cool when I run, so in the really cold weather, I try not to bundle up too much. For example, when the weather is in the 30’s, I typically wear running tights, a short sleeved shirt tucked in and a lined long-sleeved shirt over that. I also wear a light knit cap and gloves. Yes, it’s very cold when I start, but I warm up quite quickly. If it’s really windy, I may add a windbreaker or something to protect my face.
A big key for me when I run in the winter is to remember to stay hydrated. The cold dry air really saps moisture. Just because I don’t feel sweaty doesn’t mean that I don’t need to keep drinking.
So that’s how I handle winter running. How do you all handle winter running? And those of you with warm winters, I don’t want to hear a lot of gloating! Sure, you have warm winters, but your summers are BRUTAL!