Cool Running

Weather has long determined if I go for a run or not. Preferred conditions include sunny skies with a temperature from 65- to 7degrees and a light breeze. There’s a little wiggle room, but anything beyond that is a deal breaker.

An aversion to sweat is the issue. I don’t mind sweating so much these days, but can’t stand a wet, clingy shirt. Running shirtless solves that problem.

Work further restricted the window of opportunity for running. The return to Standard Time every fall made running a weekend activity. Retiring solved that problem. Once remodeling projects wrapped up earlier this year, establishing a running routine became my top priority.

Bouts of Plantar fasciitis sometimes force me to stop too. Recovery is slow. Turns out, my (pricey) running shoes were the issue. Skecher Archfits solved that problem. I got my first pair in May and have been running almost daily since early June. I check the forecast every morning, select the best time to run, and shift other activities as needed to make it work.

And then it got too cold to run without at least a shirt. In years past, cold weather has brought my routine to a screeching halt. Treadmills and the like are poor substitutes because quitting is too easy. I can cut an outdoor run short, but unless I’m already home, quitting isn’t an option. I’m bound and determined this winter will be different.

Toward that end, I ordered some new running togs. The spandex shirts make me feel like a sausage, but do the job. The running tights are comfortable, but I lack the ass to wear them without shorts or sweats over them. I also got a pair of jogging pants with pockets and a drawstring waist I really like along with some warm socks.

Sunday I set out for my coldest run yet — 45 degrees. In addition to gloves and a stocking cap, I wore my jogging pants over tights over underwear the entire time. The gloves and hat came off first. The T-shirt and spandex shirt I wore over it stayed on, but the sweatshirt and long-sleeved T-shirt over them eventually came off. Before I got home, I was wishing for a clutch of some kind for all my discarded garments.

It’s rare here in Athens for the warmest part of the day to be cooler than 45 or so. It happens, but rarely lasts for more than a day or two. Snow is also uncommon, rarely sticks around for more than a day or two, and is often gone by noon. Weather shouldn’t be any more of an issue this winter than is the case in summer. With more experience, I’ll get better at figuring out the appropriate number of layers. I still prefer shirtless runs, but am grateful to have found a way to continue running all year.

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