January Wrap-up

Month in Review, Reading, Running

Apologies for the (nearly) two week delay of my January mileage and book-age. I blame reading for my master’s exam for making my brain implode at the end of the month and preventing me from making a post. I’m hoping to be more consistent when I actually get in the habit of blogging on a regular basis and when I join a running club.

January miles: 53 miles
January books: 7 books
Book list:
Throne of Jade – Naomi Novik
Black Powder War – Naomi Novik
Middlemarch – George Eliot
The Seven Types of Ambiguity – William Empson
A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories – Flannery O’Connor
Song of the Earth – Jonathan Bate
Oroonoko, The Rover, and Other Works – Aphra Behn

Overall, not a bad month at all. I’m still building my base running-wise, so I’m hoping that my mileage will perk up in the next few weeks. As far as reading goes, Middlemarch was a bear and took up a lot of reading time, something which is likely to be an issue until I take my exam in March.

Layering up

Running, Tips

Because I’m a four season runner in the Midwest, I often find myself stuck with the choice of whether to run outside in freezing temperatures or to trudge into campus to get on a treadmill. Since I hate running on the treadmill (that’s a post for a later time), I usually force myself out into the cold. The temps here aren’t usually unbearable in the winter – they hover around the 20s and 30s, for the most part. Occassionally, however, we get hit with a cold blast that throws the temps down into the low 10s or single digits. As anyone who’s lived in a climate like this can tell you, it’s a whole lot of misery to be outside for any reason in such temps, let alone to force oneself outside for a 7 or 8 mile training run (let alone something longer!). Yesterday, I planned a 7 mile training run. When I looked at the weather, it was 12 degrees with a windchill of -4. The best means of attack in accomplishing a run in this frozen wasteland? Layering. Here’s what I wore:

Head/Face:
Hat – I opted for the hat over my usual headband to combat heat loss.
Face mask – Because when the wind is in your face, it’s okay to look like a ninja.

Photobucket
Running ninja!

Hands:
Gloves – I bought some wicking gloves at the start of the fall, since last year, I nearly froze my fingers off while wearing cheap cotton gloves.

Pants:
Under Armour Running Tights – These babies – or a comparable off-brand – are a must for running in the cold. I ran without for the first half of winter last year, but never again!
Waterproof shell – I use waterproof pants as a second layer of insulation, since I tend to run in areas that are windy and also fairly slushy. They add a nice protective layer that keeps me a bit warmer as well.

Shirts:
Wicking tank top
Wicking t-shirt
Wicking long sleeved shirt (are you sensing a trend here?)
Fleece vest
Fleece-lined jacket – Using this combo of breathable fabrics and insulation works for me. I vary the layers as the temperature demands.

Feet:
Montrail trail shoes – They have spikes, which are great on unplowed roads.
Wicking socks – I tend not to go the wool sock route (which I know some do), since I’m prone to blisters. I stick with breathable socks, which don’t tear up my feet as much.

I’m hoping that the cold will let up soon, since these temps really slow me down, and I’m tired of dressing like Randy in “A Christmas Story” every time I want to run.