Today I went out on a run in the blasting snow during a weather advisory for 3-5 inches. This is Ohio, so my opinion is outside of the quick rate of falling snow... this amount of snow is not really anything the public should freak out about. Freak out they do and so I got the streets to myself. Granted I most often do not see runners on country out of town roads that lack sidewalks so I wasn't surprised there. I was however surprised at the lack of driving traffic. I was able to navigate the slippery hills of my neighborhood without having to dodge vehicles! That is a big whoo hoo in my book!
A few years ago my running elite-ish husband bought me a pair of tights. I, in my wisdom wore them under sweat pants or under shorts and didn't think twice. Then I had a second kid and they went to the back of my closet. I found them this year and excitedly was able to wear them again! This time, I just put on the tights and ran in full confidence! I guess it helps to pay attention to pictures in running magazines!
I also wore a waterproof and wind resistant "jacket" with a moisture wicking shirt underneath. Again, you may think this is common knowledge but for me it was not. Not so very long ago (cough, cough -- two years), I was wearing double layers of heavy cotton sweatshirts! I would over-heat, freeze when soaked, and be wearing pounds of extra weight! What was I thinking!!! Okay, granted the running industry has come up with some technology that didn't exist in the mainstream since I started running...I just didn't keep up with the times.
Add a stocking cap that is designed to cut wind, cover my ears, be moisture wicking, and adds room for my pony tail to hang out, a pair of mittens, some Adidas Boosts running shoes, a Garmin GPS, and Yaktrax and I was good to go!
Now if you are not familiar with Yaktrax and you are a winter runner you absolutely must invest in a pair of these! Today was my first run wearing a pair of these and I will never run without for the winter now. Granted you need some snow on the ground for them to be practical and to serve their purpose. A week ago I went out on a run without these and slipped my whole way through the run, killing my thighs, running super slow... you get the point. Today was the opposite. I was able to maintain my pace almost perfectly in one inch and counting of un-plowed snow. I'll blame the lack of being able to see the curb from the rest of the surface as the result of my slower pace. I ran up hills, down hills, around turns, and was able to speed up and slow down like I normally do. I really couldn't feel anything different on my shoes minus the few steps I took where the snow was not laying on my front porch.
Since I haven't run in several inches of snow with these, I'm not sure how they will perform in those conditions, but usually when the snow is that deep...I wait until the snow plows have made a pass!
Proper gear lends to proper training. And I'm a firm believer in buying quality product for training since I have been experiencing what wonders it can do. I'm sure that there are knock off brands of just about anything out there and some may be just as good as the original. I think the Yaktrax I used were a off-name pair (my elite-ish husband has the true pair so he re-gifted my pair to me). I guess what I'm really saying in all this is that, winter is not a time to slack. I can no longer use poor weather conditions as a reason to stay inside. Too much has been developed for those of us that enjoy running. We cannot list excuses any longer. Well, we can...but no one is listening!