Monday, December 29, 2014

Running outside

With the exception of Wednesday, this week looks like a great week to be running outside.

Today was sunny with a high temp of 31 F.
Tomorrow is expected to have a high of 23 F.
Wednesday has an expected high of 19 F with 15 mph winds.
Thursday is back up to 28 F.
Friday is expected to hit 31 F.

I ran a trails today at McNamara/Rivers Bend/Burchfield park complex in Ingham County while the boys (Kubota and Redneck) rode mountain bikes.  I started with the usual running shoes and socks, warm-up pants, tee shirt, fleece and windbreaker and a baseball cap.  I also carried my fanny pack.  I did not carry a watch.  I am easing back into running and found that I listen to my body better when I am not wearing a wrist watch.  Crazy, eh?

I peeled off my windbreaker after about five minutes and tied the sleeves around my waist.  The fanny pack assists in keeping excess clothing that is carried this way from sliding off my waist.  I favor unlined windbreakers, shells really, as they are much handier for carrying in this fashion than fancier, lined jackets.  Unlined windbreakers were as common as houseflies when I was young but are now difficult to find.

After fifteen minutes I was sweating inside my fleece so I partially unzipped the fleece.  I think I have a clothing system that will allow me to run comfortably down to twenty degrees.


I was lamenting to Mrs ERJ that the weather rarely cooperates with my plans for running days and recovery days.

Women can be far more sensible than men.  She suggested that I run every day that was a "nice" day.  And if I was running multiple days in a row to simply slow down or ease back on the distance.

Duh!  I guess that wrist watch will stay in the drawer a while longer.

So what weather conditions make it a NOGO for running?

The very worst surface to run on.  Ice causes injuries.  Black ice is slippery.  Frozen slush turns ankles.  

I have two issues with wind:  I cannot hear traffic when road-running.  The other issue is that my usual runs involve a mix of wooded areas and open fields so the windchill varies radically and frequently.  That forces many adjustments to the layering.  At some point it because more work than fun.

Heavy rain
Rain and temps below 50 F are killers.  A light mist is fine except it messes up my glasses and decreases my ability to see.  I wear cotton undies and socks.  Everything else is synthetic and very tolerant of wetting.  This is the mid-West, after all.

Cold wet feet, slippery, dirty.  Shoes take forever to dry.  I can work around some muddy spots in the trail.  Deep muddy puddles that cause me to go bushwhacking through the briars suck.  Ironically, frozen mud is a great surface to run on.  Ice = bad.  Mud = bad.  Mud + Ice = Good.  Must be imaginary numbers in action.  Frozen mud can have a great deal of three-dimensionality.  It is can be surprisingly beautiful but is very difficult to photograph.  I expect that I will be running on frozen mud most of this week.

Unplowed snow
Unplowed or unpacked snow that is more than just a dusting is a NOGO.  Plowed and packed snow are good.  Packed snow that is polished by tires is bad (see notes on ice).  Polished snow that is sprinkled with grit is good (see notes on mud).

1 comment:

  1. Kudos for getting back out there. And sounds like an excellent plan for 'adapting' to the weather and conditions during the run. If you want unlined wind breakers, golf shops... Just sayin...


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