I’m not the biggest fan of winter training. It’s cold outside, it gets dark early, and I just want to stay inside and curl up in front of the fire with a mug of tea. However, with the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run on the calendar for this spring, I have to make sure that I get in the miles! It would look really bad if a Social Runner showed up completely untrained.
Though I’m a Midwesterner at heart, I have become a bit of a cold weather wimp when it comes to running outdoors. While living in St. Louis 8 winters ago, I would go outside and run during the snow, covering every inch of my body except my eyes. Now, I find myself on the treadmill more than I would like.
However, when I received a package from New Balance with some awesome winter weather running gear, I knew I had to try it out. The New Balance Windblocker jacket, modeled by me in blue, is my new favorite piece of running gear. This jacket has it all. I keep showing it to my running friends because I love it so much. If you follow me on Instagram, you know how obsessed I was with the sleeves while I was out on my trial run wearing the jacket.
Let’s see if I can explain well. I hate gloves. My hands are always cold when I start a cold weather run, but they get hot really fast, so I always end up taking the gloves off within a few minutes. For this reason, I love shirts and jackets designed to be pulled over your hands. This jacket has what I would call a two layered hand warming option. The inner layer is like a thick running shirt with thumbholes. Awesome. But then the outer sleeve is like a gator that goes over top and covers your entire hand, so your hands get the benefit of the windbreaker as well. Then, if you’re like me, when that gets a bit warm, the gators fold up like a cuff. This jacket is awesome!
Also, they have a little fleecy part for you to wipe your nose if necessary. We runners are kind of gross sometimes.
The other awesome feature about this jacket? The back dips down in the back so it covers your bum. I don’t know about you, but when I’m out in running tights, I always feel a bit exposed. I often put on another layer over my tights, like a running skirt or a pair of shorts, somewhat for the added warmth (my bum gets cold!) but also to cover up a bit more. This jacket is long enough that I felt good not wearing anything over the (super comfy New Balance) tights and it was significantly more comfortable to not have on all of those layers.
Oh, and it’s water and wind resistant, so that’s awesome. Though I’m a wimp. If it’s that cold AND rainy, I’m probably just going to run on the treadmill. As I did when I tried out my stylish New Balance shoes.
I love the color of these shoes. I know, running shoes aren’t about color. They’re awesome stability shoes too, but look at them! They’re adorable. I actually ended up wearing a pair of these shoes around the parks at Disney World in early January, and even with all that time on my feet, these shoes remained comfortable. I like that they offer solid support without feeling super heavy. I’m never going to be a runner who races in racing flats, but it’s nice to have lighter shoes just the same.
Another item that I love from New Balance is their Impact Hoodie. This is a half zip hooded shirt with my beloved thumbholes. In preparing to write this post, I wore it to run the Walt Disney World Half Marathon. Unfortunately, it was way colder than I anticipated (and I really wished I had packed my jacket). I ended up wearing it as the filling in a clothing layering sandwich, which means that I didn’t get any great shots of myself wearing it. What I can say is that it makes a great layering item. I think my favorite feature is the little zipper pocket on the chest, up near your collarbone. It was perfect for my earphones while I ran (in case I decided I wanted them) and I think it will be the perfect place to stow a house key while I’m out on a run.
You know, when I do brave the cold again.
Megan Sullivan, @elbowglitter
Megan is a runner and triathlete who lives in Takoma Park, MD with two cats, who are very unimpressed by her athletic pursuits. When she’s not at her job with the federal government or out training, she can be found singing, reading, or on the couch trapped by another Law and Order marathon. This will be her fifth Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run. She tweets as @elbowglitter and blogs at www.elbowglitter.com.