Fortunately the 10-day forecast is currently looking more normal for this time of year (highs in the mid-40s to low-50s), but the last week has been crazy! Highs in the low-40s, with some ridiculous winds creating feels-like temps up to ten degrees colder, and lows down into the 20s! Typical winter weather, even into December and January, is more like highs in the upper-30s and lows in the low-30s, so this is ridiculous, especially for November. We usually get a week or so of a cold spell of getting down into the 20s, so I'm curious if this is it for the winter, or if it's going to be in addition to the cold spell that usually happens later on.
As I mentioned in last week's workout recap, I've had a hard time not just curling up on the couch during this cold stretch. I don't feel prepared for running in this! I know, I just said we get it every year, but only for a week, maybe two. The rest of the time it tends to get up to at least 40 during the day for most of the winter, and since I'm an afternoon/early evening runner, I get to take advantage of the warmest part of the day.
I finally, however, went and bought a pair of long running tights - previously I had some capris (which I use for perhaps an overly-broad range of temperatures - from about 40* to 70*) and one pair of fleece-lined pants. The problem with the fleece pants is that they're straight-leg, not tapered, so they let cold air in at the bottom; I bought them anyway, last year, because they came in a "short" length. And yet, I still hemmed them anyway (could have used them at the length they came in, but since cold generally equals rain, the bottoms would have touched the ground and gotten gross).
So though I might still use those if I ever get myself out the door in 20 degree weather (with knee socks underneath to prevent the draft), for the just-slightly-colder-than-typical 30s-ish I bought a standard pair of running tights - compression, tapered, etc. As I tried them on, I was pondering the best way to hem them (it's difficult, at least with my skill level and machine, to preserve a stretchy hem), as they're a few inches too long (well, probably more than that, I suspect they're supposed to be more "ankle" length; but they're about three inches too long to hit right above my shoe). But luckily they're lightweight enough to just scrunch them up at the bottom, and it's not nearly as much of a nuisance as I expected! And I don't care if it looks dorky, cause, hello, I'm already wearing skin-tight, tapered spandex pants.
I think I was going to have a point to this post, and discuss winter running clothes. Aside from the long tights - which are particularly important around here, because most of the cold is from wind, not absolute cold temperatures, so one tends to not really need fleece or additional warm layers, just something to block direct skin contact from the wind - it's all about layers. I tend to go with a tank top and long-sleeve (which I'll always push up the sleeves at some point on a run, while in sunny spots, even at freezing temperatures). Gloves, which comes off after the first ten minutes or so. Headband is crucial, as my ears are probably the first thing that feels cold and makes me miserable, even more so than my hands being cold. The headband typically stays on for the entire run, even as I'm taking off long sleeves.
Anyhow, enough rambling. What's your must-have winter running item?