Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 year in review

It's been a good year.

I set my goals for this year on Dec. 31, 2015. On that day, I weighed 214 pounds.

This photo was taken on that day.

The goals I set were these:

I wanted to weigh 170, finish a 5k in less than 30 minutes and finish a 10k race.

I ran my first sub-30 5k on April 17.

I went on to clock a 26:53 on my race in October.

I ran 10 kilometers distance way back in February, but I pushed myself further on that run than I was supposed to and ended up hurting my knee a little. It wasn't a big problem, but it scared me. I've fallen in love with running and I'm not anywhere near ready to give it up.

Sometime in summer I decided that I needed to run an actual 10k race. So I started looking and found the Ward Parkway Thanksgiving Day Run.

I started training and was raring to go by the end of November.

I wanted to finish in less than an hour, and I came so close clocking 1 hour 40 seconds. I had an absolute blast. It was so much fun!

The last goal on my sheet was to weigh 170 pounds. When I wrote that down, I have to admit I just pulled that number out of the air. I didn't really think I'd get close, I thought I was aiming high. But as the year went on I realized I was getting very close.

I dropped below 180 pounds for the first time on Nov. 8. I almost can't believe it myself.

This photo was taken a couple days ago, my weigh-in this morning was 177. I'm going to count it as a win!

So what are my goals for 2017? Well I went a wrote up a sheet for them too.

I'm excited, it's going to be a great year!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Running in the cold

I love running. I can't stand the idea of not being able to run. That first year of running, winter was coming on and I knew I had to continue running through the winter. I despise the treadmill, so I had to figure out how to run outside no matter the weather.

This morning was the coldest weather I've ever run in. The app on my phone showed -2 degrees!

And it was great I was warm the entire time.

The first thing I discovered when I began researching this topic was thermal running tights.

Now I was more than a little self-conscious going out the door wearing nothing but tights. But I got over it pretty quick. Nobody else cares.

The first year, I bought a couple pairs of Under Armour's ColdGear leggings. And they work. Runs down to the middle teens, my legs never felt cold. My only problem with these tights is that they have a different color waistband and they have seams running down each side of your crotch. I've highlighted the seams below.

They look very much like underwear. Which contributed to my self-consciousness in them. But when I was wearing them it wasn't very noticeable, there was always either my shirt or jacket covering that area.

This year I bought the Saucony Omni LX tights. They don't have those awkward seams or the contrasting waistband. Maybe I'm just used to it at this point, but they don't feel nearly as weird when I'm out and about.

Plus they have a nice little accent of color down the outside edge of the legs.

The thing to remember is: It really is all about the layers. Start with a base and build from there as the need be.

So here's a little breakdown of what I wear when the temperatures start falling. Generally speaking, I'm talking about calm wind here. If its really blowing I'll adjust as necessary.

30-50 degrees Fahrenheit

Below 50 I switch to my winter running gear. Usually it'll be the Saucony Omni LX tights, and a Saucony Velocity long sleeve. If I'm chilly, I'll add a hat and gloves. The hat is just a cheap one I found at a local feed store of all places. The gloves are just the cheap knit type which are like $1 at Wal-Mart.

20-30 degrees

At this range -- or if the wind is really blowing -- I'll add my Saucony Nomad jacket.

The Nomad is barely more than a shell, but it keeps me so warm. It is windproof, and I'm sure that plays a major roll.

0 to 20 degrees

Now we're starting to talk real cold here! It doesn't often get this cold in my neck of the woods, but we're getting off to a real good start this year!

The first thing I add when it drops below 20 is my balaclava.

It is an Icebreaker Oasis. It's made of wool which is great and really adds a lot of warmth. My main complaint when it gets this cold is my nose and this takes care of that.

Below 0

Now I don't really have any experience at running at these temperatures, seeing as how today was my first ever (well since I was kid anyway). So I don't have a set prescription for this kind of cold.

Today I added a short sleeve Nike tech shirt under the Velocity. And I put my cheap beanie on top of my balaclava. And I was warm the entire run. I could feel the chill, but it wasn't worrisome at all.

Just remember to stay safe out there!