Thursday, February 4, 2010

NJ Winter Trail Race

Blog update: After noticing an alarming number of unsolicited and totally unrelated comments, I have opted to moderate comments. Hope this doesn't stop you all from commenting...I LOVE hearing from all my blog buddies and non-blog buddies; I am just trying to avoid the weirdos that unfortunately also co-exist in blogdom.

Hope you are all keeping yourselves warm and toasty in this frigid weather. Last winter, running was not a very pleasant experience for me. While the rest of me warms up pretty quickly during runs, my fingers used to stay frozen. Every run was followed by a painful defrosting process. Dollar store gloves don't work for me...nor do the standard ones from Target. Even my ski gloves were useless.

This winter, thanks to a new pair of mittens, keeping my digits warm has become a lot easier and the trauma my poor fingers had to undergo after every run has become a thing of the past.

The following system works for me:
(a) 30-40 degrees: Polartec polyester gloves

(b) 20-30 degrees: Mittens
(c) Below 20 degrees: Mittens + Glove Liners


For prolonged exposure to temps below 20 degrees, a combination of (c) and hand warmers usually do the trick.

I am dying to try out the pretty pink gloves Glenn got me for Christmas, but they will have to wait till it is a lot warmer. I still have nightmares involving severely frostbitten fingers.
Moving on...

After 3 runs in the snow/slush this week, I am becoming queen of running in snow. Today, Glenn and I ran the NJ Winter Trail Race at Lewis Morris County Park in Morristown. We opted for the shorter 5 mile race...and while we were almost huddled at the start to try and keep ourselves from freezing, I was extremely thankful we had not signed up for the 10 miler instead! My goal was to just complete the race. I was pretty worn out from my "high mileage" week; I had never done a 5 mile trail race before, so had no PR to beat. Glenn reached the park before me and collected my race bib and T-shirt. Technical full-sleeve it! I would gladly give up all miscellaneous race chachkis for a technical tee anyday.

Though the race turned out to be a little less than 5 miles, it sure felt a lot longer! We had to watch for tree stumps on the narrow single-track trail, so we couldn't really enjoy the scenery. But there was something very serene about a bunch of runners silently plodding through the woods. It was not an awfully hilly trail, but it did have steep portions. I realized I suck at pacing myself on trails/hills. I was following a woman runner for 1/2 mile during Mile 2, then on a slight downhill portion, decided to kick it up a notch, and sprinted past her. Well, the engines were going OK till the next hilly portion when I went completely out of breath and had to stop and walk, while she (and several others) passed me easily. After that, I picked one steady runner and decided to let him do the pacing for me. I followed him till Mile 4 and when I was reasonably sure all the hills were behind me, I stepped on the gas and went sailing (i.e. was catapulted by tree roots and rocks) to the finish.

I was the 3rd female finisher and was handed an envelope with a "cash prize" of $15 and a $20 gift certificate to the Sneaker Factory...sweet! I do feel a tad guilty that I beat another woman by a couple of milliseconds at the finish...but I suspect the guilt will vanish while I am happily shopping for new sneakers. (She turned out to be very friendly and sweet and we chatted after the race...this was her first trail race as well; she and her husband are runners/triathletes and have completed several triathlon relays). Glenn finished strong too. We were both happy we completed the race in less than an hour.
Bib: 31; 13 / 54 overall; 3 / 23 women

Total miles for the week: 42

Monday: 10 miles (1:28:30)
Tuesday: spinning (45 minutes), swimming (500 yards)
Wednesday: 6 miles (52:01)
Thursday: 14 miles (2:01:39)
Friday: rest
Saturday: 7 miles (1:07:39)
Sunday: 5 mile trail run (50:49)

There are so many awesome giveaways out in blogland, I need to devote an entire post to them!
Teamarcia is sponsoring a host of super giveaways, so be sure to check the latest one out!
Fabulous Recovery Socks Giveaway at Tall Mom on the Run.

Finally, win cool FlexFit gloves at Erica Running.



joyRuN said...

Congrats on 3rd place finish! Trail running in the snow does sound pretty serene. And SWEET shirt, too :)

Ali said...

Congrats and well done!

I have warm hands, when everyone around me has on two pairs of gloves or mitts, I have nothing on.

lindsay said...

congrats on 3rd place! don't forget to claim your winnings on your taxes next year ;) jk of course.

never thought to consider my gloves in various temps! i always run in the same pair (some nike pair, a couple years old) if it's 32 or lower. sometimes in the 30's my hands heat up in the first mile and i end up taking them off anyway. i've run in the teens a couple times but they seem to have been ok? so far anyway, none are purple/falling off!

EricaH said...

Congrats on a great race, cash prizes sweet. :)

Erica said...

Great Job!!

lauren said...

congrats on getting 3rd place! and I have gotten lots of spam comments lately also and may be following your lead on the comment moderation.

Beth said...

It's good to take care of the hands. It hurts so much when they get too cold. Great job on your trail race! A cash prize, too! Don't feel guilty for edging someone out- it's a race! :) Way to go and have fun shopping!

Erica said...

My hands SO freeze during winter runs (and it doesn't even get that cold here). I need to try your method. GREAT job on the race! Way to rock it! You are amazing- ENJOY your prize

Juliana said...

Thanks for checking out my Blog. It is interesting how we are all so different, for I started with dollar store gloves plus another layer like what you do and ended up stripping everything off by the middle of the run (hands that is) but then depending on the direction I am going I am fiddling with putting them on and then off. I seem to have the opposite challenge of trying to find a light weight glove I can keep on for the entire run without getting too warm. From your stats it looks like you put in a great running week!

Roisin said...

Congratulations on 3rd place! During a trail race, no less! I love that you supplied pictures of your various gloves. Only cold-weather runners can appreciate the variances!

Abby said...

My hands never warm up either - I'll have to try out some mittens...

Congrats on the third place finish!

Jill said...

My hands are always cold, too. I noticed those gloves with mitten over the fingers things before and wondered how well they work. Nice job on the 3rd place finish, congrats!!!!

The Happy Runner said...

Great job -- congrats on being in the money!

And, you won!

I Run for Fun said...

Thank you, all!

Yay! Thanks, Felice. I usually never win anything! Just emailed you.

Tricia said...


Irene said...

That's awful about the unsolicited comments!

Congrats on the third place finish! That's some nice swag, too!

ajh said...

Congratulations! I have never won money. That is very cool.

X-Country2 said...

Congrats! And money?! Very nice work.