Lessons learned from a habitual outdoor runner

Tag: gear Page 2 of 4

The January 2019 “Alberta Clipper”

Central Illinois isn’t the worst place to spend the winter as there are colder and snowier places in North America. This week an Alberta Clipper has made it’s way to our area, and without a doubt, it’s cold!

screenshot from 2019-01-30 07-32-54

The wind is painful on exposed skin, so I leave very little exposed while I’m out there. My gear did its job and protected me from the brutal weather. I did have a new first for me, my longest lash-cicles! Of course, I could see the ice hanging off the eyelashes, I just didn’t know how big they actually were so once I arrived home, I grabbed a phone to catch a selfie before they melted.


I kept my run confined within the residential areas to gain as many wind-blocks as possible. The route below is a bit more twisted, with several overlapping streets than my regular field-runs, but I am so grateful to be able to get out there and run!

screenshot from 2019-01-30 08-21-23

A few other notable things: Yes, my water bottle froze pretty quickly, my iPod Shuffle, which was in an inside pocket in my coat was covered in frost when I pulled it out at home. Apparently, the condensation was freezing inside the first layer of my coat. One of the clasps on my running belt snapped off. They are plastic, and I’ve had this belt for 5+ years. Still, it’s interesting how things deal (or not) with the cold.

I had 4-layers beneath the coat today. The outer layer was an old navy zip-collared v-neck sweatshirt. These are relatively thick and also had frost accumulations on it under my jacket when I got home. Below that was a 100% polyester short-sleeve. This layer was a moisture barrier from the condensation externally and the sweat internally. Layer three was just a cotton t-shirt and at the bottom was a sleeveless t-shirt.

I had my Clava over the head and face, then my IceArmor (by Thinsulate) mittens over my hands. I always add a scarf around the neck for additional warmth and ventilation control, plus as an emergency device in the event of some other equipment failure like a tear or seam split. Of course, the hood was on, holding in heat and blocking the wind.

In the end, I was glad to see I had around 8 1/4 miles in when I got home, an acceptable run, especially on such a cold day!

Various December weather challenges

turned on clear light bulbs

Photo by Sindre Strøm on Pexels.com

This morning (12/28/18) it was 51 degrees at 4am, by the time I arrived home from the morning run, it was 36 with a windchill in the upper 20’s. Yesterday, it was in the ’40s, raining, with wind-gusts over 25 mph. We’re all over the board for the weather in December!

Yes, I know, it’s winter, get over it! I’m not complaining, I just have to find the right clothes to wear. I’m fortunate to have a space to manage my running “wardrobe” and make selections as each day brings its own variation.

I love it when my choice of “gear” actually aligns with the situation. In the windy-rainy scenario yesterday, it was warm enough as the standing air temp was around 45, yet it was raining, and the windchill was in the ’30s. I desire to be warm and dry around the head and torso as long as possible. The legs and feet just have to accept collateral impact and are not usually a problem if the upper body is well kept. How wet the feet get is a potential problem and has to be continuously monitored.

Screenshot from 2018-12-28 12-01-03

Moisture management – the rainy day in the ’40s presents the challenge of not getting too sweaty, needing to stay appropriately warm, and not let the cold wind and rain in. I selected a sleeveless cotton layer first, then a polyester short-sleeve, covered by a polyester long-sleeved shirt. Then externally with a St. Jude ballcap (reduces rain on face), UnderArmor gloves, and my Work n’ Sports Waterproof jacket. I was ready as I stepped into the blustery darkness.

8.8 miles later I arrived home with a comfortable torso and really wet feet and hands. The beautiful thing was that the external polyester shirt did a great job as a moisture barrier, the cotton shirt was wet from sweat, and the middle polyester layer was almost dry. This jacket has done a great job against the elements and has held up well with all the arm motion and activity.

Enjoy the outdoors and find ways to stay comfortable while facing the various elements.

Garmin tracker use

A brief personal review of the Garmin Forerunner 10 and 25.

Since Christmas 2015 I’ve been running with a Garmin Forerunner 10. During those 1070+ days, it has worked well. However, there were a few quirks. The only real problem the watch has is that it occasionally goes blank and basically needs a reboot which happens when attached to the USB cable. This problem has become a bit more frequent and prompting me to consider a replacement, just in case.

The Garmin Forerunner 25 arrived on December 6th and went into service on Friday the 7th.


A few things that jumped out at me about the 25 were the band and the larger display.

The band is replaceable like a watch where the 10 was a molded unit. I cannot say I like the band better than the 10, just that it is different. The molded band on the 10 made it a comfortable fit and easier to manage.20181209_091248

Fortunately, the button functions are basically the same between the models, which makes upgrading a lot easier.

The 25 obviously has additional features like Bluetooth and an activity/step tracker built-in.

I use my Garmin Vivofit 2 for tracking my steps, I prefer the low profile of the Vivofit. Vivifit2

This is where I’m still figuring out the 25. I have disabled the activity tracking features on the device and in the connect software, yet it keeps recording steps along with my run, so it looks like I’ve done a lot more steps than I do.

Two features on the 25 that I am enjoying is that the display is easier to read while running and that the battery life seems to be significantly better. The battery life on the 10 looked like it may not make a full marathon at my pace.

The 25 also includes some new stats in Connect. Cadence and Dynamics have been added to the activity details. The data is interesting, and I’ll see if I use it.

Overall, I’m enjoying the 25, even after just a few days of use. I plan on using the 10 as my backup device.

Break out the Clava

When the wind chill drops into the single digits, it’s time to cover up the face!

Screenshot from 2018-11-27 06-43-16

A 16 mph wind iClava_Blacks strong enough to hurt exposed skin at these temperatures.

After several experiments with various face coverings, I found these combo clava’s to do the job of letting me breathe while protecting against some pretty bitter weather. They are a lifesaver!

In these temps I can just put the hood up on my coat and wear a scarf around my neck for adequate comfort and protection. When the windchill drops into the negative double-digits I may need to add a hat over the clava.



December 2018 kicks

20181126_183753.jpgBlack Friday/Cyber Monday/Clearance Special


They were at a good price at my local store (Body N’ Sole), so I scooped them up.

My current pair is wearing out faster than anticipated with just over 500 miles (see below) on them, so when a good deal appears I had to grab them even if I won’t start wearing them for a few more weeks.


Page 2 of 4

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén