Last weekend, I ran my first race in over five years. I was so nervous because I didn't train as much as I wanted and worried about being the slowest person there and I was genuinely afraid of letting myself down. It was also my first really cold-weather run I'd had in a long time and I was convinced I was going to do a bad job.I ran a bunch of races a few years ago and they were what motivated me to really get into shape. They were so much fun, but I trained long and hard for them. What the hell was I doing running this race that I barely prepared for? Now that it's dark out before I get home I don't like running outside after work which leaves me with the treadmill. I truly hate the treadmill and like a good treadmill-hater, I avoided it while I should have been utilizing it. I did go on Sunday runs at a local park, but it was by no means enough practice.
As I stood in my corral, I tried to pick out who I should pace myself with and what time is everyone going to get. Could I even make it the whole way without taking a break? My friends who run get awesome finish times; what's mine going to be? Well, three minutes out of the starting line, all that went by the wayside and I cleared my mind and finally focused on having fun. I've got a lot of accomplished runners in my life and trying to compare myself to their times just wasn't happening. I changed my outlook from "don't look like an ass" to "just do your best", as ridiculous as that sounds I really needed to beat that into my brain. I finished around the time I thought I would and never stopped the whole time. I wasn't magically running 7 minute miles or 20lbs lighter, but I did kick all the negative thinking in the nards an kept going. After I got my medal and my free banana, I was ready to sign up for a bunch more races. Why wasn't I doing this every weekend?! Now that I know I can once again run a race without stopping, who knows what else I can do? I've made it my goals to run as many races as I can manage next year so I can have a healthy habit all while gaining lots of new t-shirts.
That being said, running in the winter is especially tough. It's hard to be motivated to run when it's cold or wet outside. I dd get my ass out of be on Thanksgiving morning and put in three rain-soaked miles before I nearly ate myself to death and I felt so much better having done so. One way I've found to get myself motivated is to get a new outfit. Nothing like spending too much on an outfit to make you get out and use it! Above I have compiled all sorts of cute winter run gear to get you going on even the coldest of days! Get to stepping!
Nike Windrunner Jacket- Super cute and can be worn with jeans if you need some motivation for a late-day run!
Nike Epic Lux Tights- Good for days when you need some extra warmth, but nothing bulky. Plus is has a convenient key pocket and butt-enhancing capabilities.
Nike Storm-FIT 2.0 Run Gloves- On cold days, no amount of bunching your hands into your sleeves is going to keep your hands warm. Save yourself the trouble and get some gloves!
Nike Air Zoom Structure 18- This shoe is made for overpronators (heels roll inward when running) which is my current handicap. Would love to try these out since they've been getting such awesome reviews. Finally, stability shoes that aren't totally fugly! Wishlist item!
C9 by Champion Knitted Beanie- Protect your chilly little head with this fitted, moisture-wicking beanie that's a steal at Target.
Under Armour ColdGear Infrared Crew- ColdGear is great stuff, especially if it's 30 or below. I wear mine when it's snowy and it keeps be pretty toasty without the bulk of a sweatshirt!
Under Armour ColdGear Infrared Leggings- Probably my favorite cold-weather running tights. They are lined with brushed fleece and keep your legs and butt warm on cold runs!
Under Armour Fleece Headband- If hats won't stay on your head, opt for a headband. I have an odd-shaped head that a hat will never stay on so I always wear a fleece headband.
Under Armour 2.0 Sports Bra- No bouncing here, this bra also has removable padding just in case you don't want the world to know how cold you really are.
Patagonia Micro-D fleece Neck Gaiter- These things are a life saver! Get over the fact that you may look like the unibomber and enjoy your runs free of cold-burnt lungs! I can only run in the cold if I'm wearing one of these up over my nose or else my throat will be killing me and my chest will be on fire. Everyone should have one!
That's all for now folks! Hope your turkey (or Tofurky) day was full of fatty goodness. Now it's time to get back to work! Happy running!