Sunday, February 10, 2013

Just Keep Snowing...

Thank you Winter Storm Nemo for providing some lovely training weather for Antarctica!!!  I went out with the pup on Friday morning, while we only had a couple inches, to check off another mile in the woods.  Just us and the softly hissing snow and some wicked winds around the pond.  I was quite comfortable though, so I'm getting the hang of what layering works for me.  I tried out my Craft baselayer for the first time, and once it was snugly tucked into my running tights so it stopped inching up, it was fantastic.  And ski goggles!  I have never run in goggles before, but finding a well-fitted pair is going to be a must to survive the potential Antarctic winds.  By Saturday, the snow was way too deep and I wish I owned snow shoes.  We did run today, a little over a mile, on the streets, which are plowed but still have a solid layer of snow on them.  No problems from the knee, I am happy to report!

Paleo January has also come to an official close, but I have enjoyed the cooking experiments and I will be sticking with it.  I have to put milk back into my diet, but the benefits of removing grains have been marked and I think it will only get better with more time.  I notice almost immediately when I stray towards the forbidden foods, because my stomach gets disgruntled and I feel icky.  I am also curious what effect Paleo eating will have on my body as I ease back into my workout routines, since I was a crippled bum for most of January!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Mile One

First mile of 2013 ... success!  In the snow and 25F temperatures, no less!  The physical therapist finally gave me the green light to try a run, but absolutely no more than a mile.  So the pup and I ventured out on Sunday morning for a walk/run in the quiet cold.  I love the woods when the weather is less than ideal because I have them all to myself, and the woods during a snowfall are even better because everything is so quiet.  It was only a mile, but the knee did not act up at all and it felt good to finally be moving again!  A tad of stiffness when I woke up Monday morning, but no cracking or popping or pain, so I think we're headed in the right direction!  I'm trying to take this opportunity to also fully transition to barefoot shoes, although snow and ice are making that a bit of a challenge.  But my thought is that I absolutely cannot make the seasoned runner mistake of thinking I'm ready to go farther in minimalist or barefoot shoes than I actually am, and therefore cause some serious damage, because I'm being medically forced to ease back in excruciatingly slowly.  And 8 weeks of no running was enough to make me take this physical therapy and gradual reintroduction very seriously.  I do not want to be back in the doc's office!  So, here's to another mile by the end of this week.

Friday, February 1, 2013

What to Wear, What to Wear...

The gear-collection mania for Antarctica has begun in earnest!  I figured now would be a great time to start gathering my various layers, since 1) it's cold enough to get a basic feel for how effective they will be and 2) winter sales!  Huzzah!

So here's what I've got so far.  If you have experience with extreme cold-weather running, I would appreciate suggestions!!

Base layer: Craft Be Active long-sleeved shirt for the upper half, and lululemon for the bottom half.  I haven't decided if I'll be best served by the Runder Under tights, Ice Queen tights, or the winter pants that have mud panels on the bottom half of the leg, so there's some wind-resistance and water-resistance there too...will keep you posted on how that works out.

Thermal layer: fleece!  Between various North Face and Under Armor and R.E.I. pieces, I think I'll be able to find a warm middle layer that works.

Outermost/Wind layer: Frankly, this is the one I'm most concerned with.  I figure it's easy to add layers for warmth, but finding something that will effectively block those Katabatic winds I keep hearing about is a more difficult task.  I just ordered the Patagonia Solar Wind jacket and Marmot minimalist jacket so I can see if either of them might be up to the task.  I also found a jacket at a consignment shop (can't turn down $9 when most other options are over $100!) that I believe is designed for snowboarding, but could have potential.  It was made by a U.K. company whose name I cannot remember at the moment.  And for the bottom half, I'm going to try Gore Active Shell pants.

I've also got Craft mitten/gloves that are touted as good against wind, and one of those Turtle Fur neck warmers that you can pull up over your face if necessary.

Oh right, shoes.  I usually run in SmartWool socks, so those with a sock liner in my Saucony trail shoes (which are conveniently purple with bright blue accents, perfect for drawing attention if I end up head first in a snow bank) ought to suffice.  I hope.  I haven't lost nails or toes to a marathon yet; now is not the time to start!

I guess the biggest thing I still need to tackle is eye protection.

It still amazes me that I will be able to run a marathon on the world's coldest continent wearing regular shoes and (what seems to me is) not a lot of clothing!  I was fully expecting to start training wearing boots and a snow suit.  :)  Soon soon soon I will be able to start running again and test this stuff out!