Sunday, January 6, 2013

Back on Track + Cold Weather Gear Review

The first 6 days of January have come and gone, and my first week of training has wrapped up.  And for the first time in a long while (how long? *licks finger, pages through online running log* since the week of August 13th) I completed all of my scheduled runs.  I'm using a training plan from Runner's World smart coach (freebie) and am essentially starting from scratch.  5 runs a week:  3 easy, 1 tempo or interval, 1 long run.  I do intend to do strides on one of my easy days, because I enjoyed that aspect of Pfitz, and once my fitness comes back a bit (dear God, please come back) I intend on doing some fast finish long runs, every 3rd or 4th week.

My plan currently goes to May 11th, the day of the Brookings half marathon, yet I'm not 100% sure I'm doing that race yet.  It's narrowed down to that race, or Fargo half as my spring goal race.  Goal B race of the season is the Get Lucky half marathon up in the cities (which also aligns itself with excellent BFF time with Sheana, and celebrating my fave holiday).  I also got the sweetest green running duds for Christmas, which I can't wait to wear for the big holiday.  Besides those two races, there's one in January (christ, it's january already huh?) and a couple in April that I'm mulling over.  No registration triggers have been pulled at all, which worries me only slightly.  I refuse to pay money to train/race poorly (see: fall 2012).

26.2 miles ran this week, not intentionally.  I got lost on a 5 miler on New Years Day.  Yes, I was running in town, no I have no idea how I got lost, but I was freezing my buns off, and I'm glad that I only tacked on an extra .2 miles because it could've been much, much worse if I had gone south instead of north when presented with those options (uh hello Harrisburg).  Interestingly enough the time spent running this week (4:36) is slower than four of my five marathons.  I told you I'm doing some slow pokey get-back-in-to-shape base mileage.  Uff da.

I did purchase a face mask this week, mainly after the freezing five miler listed above.  My body was completely fine and dandy, but my face was frozen.  I don't think I mentioned it on here, but according to the doc I've developed mild rosacea.  Funsies.  I've always been extremely prone to wind burn, and of course extreme heat and cold aggravate it, which I don't need.  Enter weirdo ninja mask.  (Ollie is such a good model, right???)


I wore it on my long run today, and while I'm sure I looked like the biggest dork ever, it helped.  My face is only slightly rosy 3 hours later.


  • Breathable-ish.  The one I purchased has an opening under the nose, and ventilation in the mouth area.  
  • Easy to pull up and down.  At times the wind was at my back or being blocked by trees, so I took it down.  It definitely constricts breathing some, so it was nice to tug down and then put back up as needed.
  • $22 isn't bad as far as winter running gear goes.  I'm lucky that I have all the coats/tights/pants/super duper insulated pants/yaktrax/gloves/hat/ear warmers that I need (as I've acquired over the past few winters of running), $22 is nothing compared to what you can spend on winter running crap.  They did have some cheaper ones that were just the mask without the little neck cover, but I would've needed a scarf to go with it, which ended up being $25.  No thanks.
  • You don't have to smile at other runners that you see, because they can't see it anyway!  Wave and go!  I found myself smiling and waving every.single.time and every time I thought to myself, they can't see you smile Jerbear, STOP IT.
  • I look like a doof.  (But I'd rather look like a doof while running, than be bright red faced in day to day life.)
  • I had to pull the thing down every time I had to blow some snot out of my nose.  Since my allergies suck, this was frequently.  Like 2-3 times a mile.  The material also got slightly irritating to my nose, presumably because I was blowing snot rockets, wiping my nose with my gloved hand, and then putting the mask back up.  I don't think it'd bother skin at all if you just kept it in place the whole time.  
  • By exhaling into the mask, my face ended up slightly damp.  Not a problem until I ran directly in to the wind, and the ventilation shot cold air at my wet face.  Brrrrr x 10.

**I wasn't paid in anyway for this review, just my two cents on something I obvs should've bought two years ago when I started bitching about my face freezing off during runs.

One week of solid running done, here's to 51 more!  Hah.


Kristin said...

Fabulous review. I finally found a use for my NYC Marathon survivor like band thingy by wearing it around my neck then pulling it over my mouth/nose as needed. Dork status? 100%. Dry skin status? Silky smooth.

Renee said...

High five! I'm happy with my week 1 running too. Hopefully we can both keep it up.