Sunday, November 16, 2014

Welcome back, winter!

It appears that we've skipped late fall here in St. Louis and headed straight for winter.  Temperatures plummeted last week with overnight lows in the low 20s.  Welcome back, winter, and your accompanying layers (and layers and layers) required for us early morning runners.

As I started dressing for Friday's 23* run, I forgot how long it takes to don all the requisite winter apparel.  I pulled on my wool socks, fleece-lined tights, two shirts, and a vest.  I checked the time as I dug in the pile for my gloves, hat, balaclava, and reflective wear: 4:55, or exactly the time I should be outside meeting Emily.  I threw the last pieces on quickly and vowed to set my alarm earlier next time.  An extra two minutes should do it...

Bundled to the hilt to stay warm on these frosty mornings.

I love the freshness of the crisp, cold air, and I'm weirdly excited over the return of winter runs.  My paces are faster in the cold weather, and running in frigid temps is inherently badass ;)  But there is one significant downside to winter running (besides the extra time it takes to get dressed): laundry!  So.much.laundry.  As a family of five, I'm accustomed to the incredible beast which is the laundry pile at our house.  Adding the winter running layers, however, tips the balance from massive undertaking to insurmountable burden.

Just a portion of the laundry generated by Saturday's long run.

Admittedly, a little extra laundry is a small price to pay for the many ways in which running improves my life.  But if laundry gnomes mysteriously invaded my basement and tackled the pile, I wouldn't complain!

How do you feel about winter running?  What's your go-to piece of winter running gear?