Ran three miles today in some of the coldest air since the summer. Taper’s got me worrying about gaining weight this week. I’m pretty sure I’m heavier than I was when I ran last October. I think that’s why I’m getting slower. That and I’m getting older. I’m not happy about this. I can run a marathon, but I’m heavier, slower and older than I was. Is this progress?
Primal considerations hold sway now. What will I wear (the weather, the weather), what will I eat, how can I make sure I’m sleeping OK? The more you think about things, the harder sleeping will be.
What I will wear is starting to shape up. Though I needed it today, I won’t need my vest. If you’re just starting out running, you need shorts, shoes, socks and shirts. And a vest, a thin shell that protects you against the wind and the cold. I have jackets, long-sleeve shirts and assorted other warmer gear, but nothing gets more wear than the vest. Mine is a bright yellow Brooks number that I got as a Christmas gift when I started running. My son is embarrassed for me when I wear it. Way too bright for his taste.
The “What to Wear for Runners” web calculator that I follow religiously really likes vests. And so, too do I. You can wear it over short or long sleeves. Today, and during last year’s Chicago Marathon, I wore it over long sleeves. You can unzip it or even take it off if you get hot. You can put stuff—handkerchiefs, iPhones, gel, ShotBlox, PowerBars, etc.—in the pockets. Make sure you get a thin one; really cold-weather running has its own set of gear. The vest gets used in the 35-55 degree range, give or take a bit depending on wind.
If the weather forecast holds, this will be a minimal-clothing marathon: shoes, socks, shorts, short-sleeve shirt or tank top. It will be cold in the morning, that half hour or more you wait around for the race to start. I need to get to a thrift shop and buy a sweatshirt I can throw away when the race starts. Volunteers collect runners’ castaway clothes, tens of thousands of items, and give them to the needy. Salvation Army should just set up an on-site thrift shop where you could rent items for an hour.