I have to say that am really falling in love with Winter running. I am just coming up on my 1 year running anniversary and Winter was really a season that I was intimidated by. I worried about slipping and falling. But most of all I worried about the cold temperatures. Now granted we have had a relatively mild Winter so far here in Salt Lake City. But when I first moved out here from California about 17 years ago (that sounds like SO long), I digress. When we first moved out here I had been running pretty regularly in California for awhile there. It was September and I was forced to run in the early evening after work and school. I don't know if it was the change in temperature or the altitude or a combination of the both, but frankly I felt like I was sucking air bad. Quickly, as the temperatures continued to drop I dropped off with my running as well. Since that was my only previous experience with Salt Lake Winter running I expected to really struggle as we rolled into the colder months.
My mindset has since changed. I have never paid SO much attention to weather forecasts in my life as I do now. It's not just the temperature though, it's whether the wind is blowing. Or whether it's cloudy versus sunny. Because if it's 30 degrees and sunny I can actually expect to feel pretty warm. But 30 degrees and cloudy is a totally different story. When it's windy I will grab my favorite Brooks jacket and I'm golden, because even if the wind drops I can peel it off and quickly roll it and then tie it around my waist. All whilst not stopping my run. I haven't yet had to test this jacket in any kind of wet weather, but thus far I LOVE it. I run all my weekday runs right in the middle of the day on my lunch break. So it's actually the warmed part of the day. I'm always in capri's regardless of the temp, this includes when there's snow on the ground. And I'm never cold.
Another item I have to be careful to choose is which hat I wear. I have a great Saucony beanie that I go to when it's colder or windy. But if I don't need the warmth then I go for my Brooks ball cap so that I can keep the sun out of my eyes. I wear glasses and so it's important to not have to squint if I can help it.
It's all about finding the perfect balance of layers. For the most part I usually get it right. And that makes for a very happy runner. Funny, because now that I'm loving Winter running so much I'm actually starting to stress about the Summer months! I don't think my noontime jaunts are going to go down too well. One thing I've thought about is maybe going slightly earlier, if I could get away with maybe a 10:30 lunch break. Guess we'll have to wait and see .. but I'm thinking it won't be nearly as bad as I am expecting.
What's your favorite season to run in and why?