November 19, 2009

I'm Ready For YOU, Chicago Winter!

Today is a "work day". That means I have my sitter and I sit at a Starbucks for 4.5 hours contemplating how I will ever get this dissertation done. I spend some time blogging, eating, surfing the internet, and doing a bit of research for my dissertation. When the dissertation stuff gets too overwhelming, I go back to blogging, eating & surfing.

Today I decided to leave the comfort of my Starbucks for a different one. I did this because there is a Starbucks located right next to a really nice running store and I needed to get a hydration belt. I keep thinking about all of the cold-weather gear I need, but the nice (and unseasonable) weather here forces me to postpone reality. Again, this weekend for the long run its supposed to be in the 50's. But, this is Chicago. We have nasty, cold, 24-inch-snow, freezing rain kind of winters ... and I better be prepared.

So I loaded up on stuff today:

Hydration Belt

Although the people in my running program really recommend the Fuel Belt products, I didnt like the lack of storage for anything besides liquid they had. I have a Nathan single bottle pack and it has really nice storage pockets, so I decided to look into those. I verified that my iPhone fits into the pocket (how else can I blog while I run?) and purchased the "Speed 4" which has four individual 10oz bottles, enabling me to carry water, Gatorade & possible an alcoholic beverage or two (in case of emergency).

Weather Resistant Jacket
I tried on a few of these by different companies including Brooks & Sugoi. I went with one from Saucony - the ViperLite Softshell.
Of the three I tried on, Saucony was not only the best price, but it also had the best fit (for me). It was long enough (which is often a problem for me) and still provided a full range of motion. Both of the other two not only were a bit shorter and more restrictive, but actually gaped a bit at the bottom and didnt create a straight-lined fit. The last thing I need is a winter breeze whipping up my jacket.

Cold Weather Running Tight
Again, tried on a few brands. Two different Saucony and two different Sugoi. At the last minute the guy brought me a pair of Nikes to try. I found the waisband on the Sugoi's both to be too high, and the Saucony one to be a bit too low. I do like a lower rise and contemplated the Saucony, but they also seemed to be a bit short. When they guy brought me the Nike's he suggested they might be better in length (this was before I had even tried on the Saucony) and he was right. Turns out they are men's running tights ... guess thats what you need when you have long legs ;)

Running Gloves
And finally, I asked them about gloves. I have several pairs of running gloves. Nothing seems to work. They are never just "right". Either too cold, or too warm. And they tend to make my hands cold when they get wet (which happens when you have nasty, sweaty hands ... which it appears I do). The guy suggested going with a SmartWool liner glove. The fabric is supposed to regulate body temperature and is "odor-free". For really cold days I can/should layer them with a glove shell for optimum warmth. I figured I would give it a whirl.

So bring it on Chicago Winter! (But free to take your time...I'm ready, but there is no need to rush it or anything)


Sarah said...

I am so jealous! We don't have a running store around here, so I have to buy on-line and hope it fits. I was just at an UA outlet this weekend and was able to get a good running jacket.

Love those purple gloves! Are they the smart wool ones you wrote about??

Jamie said...

Definitely let us know how those gloves work. I am on the hunt and am tired of buying stuff that's just not right. Hopefully it's a little longer before you need to use all the cold weather gear here. But like you said it's Chicago. There could be a foot of snow by Monday...

Lisa said...

Whoa you dropped a few dollars but how to cool to have all that new running gear. Let us know how you like the tights... I need a few more pairs.

Jess said...

Oh! Nice stuff! I especially like the gloves.

lifestudent said...

The gloves I got are actually pink! yay! (But yet, Sarah, they are the same as the picture - smartwool)

Anonymous said...

This weather is great! I ran 7 mi this morning in Boston, MA and it was 57 degrees! I have both the fuel belt and nathan. I started with the fuel belt(it was a new product when I bought my first one) then started hating it so I bought a nathan(JUST came on the market), used that for a few years and started to hate it too so I bought a new fuel belt (better than the original FB I bought). I keep 1 at my apt in boston and one at my parents house near Cape Cod and I have no clue where my original fuel belt is :-P one thing I like abt the FB is u can run with just 2 bottles in the back if u want, with N you gotta use all 4 bottles to balance it out or else it will bounce too much. But I do love the bigger pocket!

Playful Professional said...

I have the smaller (two bottle) version of this water belt and LOVE it.