First and foremost, a major shout out to Amy over at Lavender Parking who set a new PR in the half-marathon distance over the weekend. She is gearing up for the Boston Marathon, so go give some support and encouragement over at her blog!
Secondly, Happy Belated MLK day! 2 Fat Nerds went dark yesterday for the holiday, I apologize for no notice!
Thirdly, holy crap, it is cold out. Normally this wouldn't be post-worthy, but because it is the first major cold snap of the year (in the B-Lo and WNY at least), I thought I would do a quick post about it. I love outdoor winter activities, running and cross-country skiing in particular are my favorites. Nothing feels better than to head out into some brisk, Saturday-morning air and do a few miles of some aerobic exercise. I'm not even joking, either. The tranquility of freshly fallen snow in a sleepy park is wonderful. With that though, there are some things to look out for when it gets to be excessively cold. Here are some quick tips from my own experience.
1. Start out slower than you normally would. Let your muscles warm up first. Just like a car that struggles to get going in the winter, your body needs time to get up to speed.
2. Work with layers. Layering your clothing gives you the ability to shed some if you overdress. The key is to avoid sweating as much as possible. If you are way overdressed and then sweat through it, it is going to be a long and cold walk home. Avoid it by being able to remove unneeded layers.
3. Know the signs of frostbite. If you or a friend's face starts to lose color or turn white or yellow, get warmed up as fast as possible. Watch the toes too, especially when running through snow and slush. It's not worth that one extra mile if you lose your toes!
4. Use your gym memberships. I know this seems like a strange outdoor survival tip, but really when it is 5 degrees with a windchill of -15 . . . just don't go outside if you don't have to. Use that gym membership that you pay for every month but don't use. Try out those video workouts on Netflix. Do something, just don't be silly and insist on running through ice and freezing cold temperatures.
Hopefully the coldest of cold temperatures won't last too to long, but while they're here, use it as an excuse to get some extra gym time in, or some hot coco on the couch while watching hockey. #DontJudgeMe