Sunday, March 31, 2013

Lake Norman Rotary 10k

I have been trying to shake up my legs and get some turnover back into them. At the last minute, I decided that I should head just a little ways north of my home and do the Lake Norm Rotary 10k. The race runs on many of the same roads that I use for training so I knew them all pretty well.

Looking around at the start, I saw a few familiar faces: Jaime, who is there to support a couple of athletes that she trains, Laura and Allen who are running the 10k.

The race was organized by the Lake Norman Rotary Club and was timed by Blue Ridge Revival Productions. I had never heard of the timing company but they seemed to have the chip timing covered.

With just a few comments from the race director both the 5k and 10k started at the same time. The 5k and 10k followed the same route until nearly the 4k mark where they separated. The 10k course made a small loop to an out and back section. After the out and back section, it rejoined the 5k course to the finish which was near Jason's Deli in Huntersville.

When the race director said "go", my legs thought he said "slow". They responded accordingly. In fact, it seemed that everyone was exploding off the starting line compared to me.

Then slowly, they started to come up to speed. By the first kilometer I had taken the lead. Then, I just followed the pace car and along the route. I purposely ignored my Garmin splits. That is until the last quarter mile or so. I peeked at my Garmin and saw that I could finish with something in the 35 minute range. I pushed harder and uncharacteristically, my legs responded.

Naturally it helped that the course was slightly down hill during this section.

Mostly, I was just looking to have a solid run and get myself ready for some much harder upcoming races. Getting the win in 35:07 is always nice but knowing that I ran well and had more to give definitely spurred my confidence.

A few other notes about the race, the course was marked out in kilometers rather than miles. There were no clocks along the course. The turns were fairly well marked. Based on my observations and observations from a few others, both the 5k and 10k courses were short. Well, if a runner followed the tangents, the course would be short. On the other hand, if I ran the wide side of every turn, the course would be much truer in distance. Although, the race director never said this was required nor were there any marking on the course directing the runners to particular side of the road.

This is a second year race, and it is pretty clear they are learning as they go. Give them a few more years to learn and they will have a pretty nice race.

Also I want to give a shout out to two guys I met after the race. Jose has just been running since September of last year and has already run 2 marathons. Matt who is from Winston Salem drove all the way to Charlotte for this 10k because he could find one in Winston Salem. Now, this is truly a dedicated runner. Great job yesterday guys and good luck with your future running.


Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner

Thursday, March 28, 2013

3 sets of 3, 2, 1

The general rule of thumb is 1 day of recovery for every mile that I race. Where running is concerned, I tend bend more rules that I follow. This pretty much explains why yesterday morning, I was trying to kick start my legs with some speed work.

My legs still felt the heaviness but they went along with the effort.

After 5+ miles of warm up, I started through a descending set of 3, 2, and 1 minute intervals 3 times. Each was followed by a 1 minute recovery. Believe when I say, one minute goes by fast. The sluggishness seemed to wear off by the second set and the third set felt the best.

The distances covered during the time periods were not overly impressive since I had opted for my heavy trainers and was running this workout on dirt instead of the track. The workout did allow me to cover 3+ miles of up tempo work and start to get the rust shaken off.

My marathon cycles have been backing up to one another and never giving me the opportunity to run really good speed work. This time around, I want to give a try. The next several weeks as my legs feel better; I plan to focus on a lot more really short intervals. I want to see just how much I can get out of my legs.


Sharing one though at time,

The Cool Down Runner




Monday, March 25, 2013

What’s next?

Seven days have passed since my marathon. My physical recovery is going well but mentally, I am just don't feel ready to hit the roads hard yet. I guess this is to be expected. Months of long runs, tempos, and speed work would leave most people feeling that they mentally need a break for a while. Usually, I find that bounce back mentally pretty fast.

At the moment this is not happening for me.

I think part of the reason; I just didn't give myself any post marathon goals. I need goals. I need objectives. I need something dangling just out of my reach to keep me coming back.

Motivation comes from goals. When I don't set them, I tend to meander along through life until a goal gets defined for me.

For now, I have some in mind but nothing is carved in stone as yet.


Sharing on thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Wrightsville Beach Marathon thoughts on the race

Thinking back to my marathon weekend, the guys organizing the marathon did a pretty fair job in my assessment. The expo was small but well organized. There was a single instance point and exit point. There were a number of venders along the way. Packet pick up started by identifying my race number and then finding the right table to pick up my bib and shirt. The concept of holding it outside in an enclosed tent seemed to work reasonably well.

They provided a course overview talk on both Friday and Saturday. I attended the Saturday session. Basically, it was the same as what I had read online. With the one exception, we had an opportunity to ask questions.

The race starts over near the beach in a park. The distance between the start and the finish is probably 2 to 3 miles. I was staying near the finish so I opted for the very short bus ride over to the start.

While 57 degrees isn't extremely cold, it isn't exactly warm to setting out side in the dark. There were no seats but plenty of open ground.

They did have plenty of porta jons.

With the bridge construction, they started runners in waves with some of the slower runners starting off first. They needed to get the bridge cleared by 9:30 of all runners.

They started the first wave some 20 minutes ahead of us. The system seemed to work pretty well. We passed a lot of people but there was plenty of room on the course.

For the course, the open section had a good number of people watching. There were tons of people around the Mayfield area. There was a lesser number near the bridges and on the beach side of the course. Probably the loneliest part of the course was through Land Fall. Here I was pretty much alone except for the occasional course worker. The race organizers had told us that Land Fall was a closed community so there was no setting up in side of it or biking through it.

I do need to give the course workers a "thumbs up". They were always cheerful even if I wasn't feeling all that chipper.

There were numerous water stops along the course. I remember seeing a Duke and an NC State attired water stops.

The course makes three passes by MayField before I made the left turn in for the finish. I actually kind of liked it because this is where most of the people located.

In order to determine how to direct me for the final turns, I had to pick up this wrist band between 19 and 20 miles. I had never done this before so I was a little worried about how it would go.

My worries were all for nothing. I was handed a "yellow" wrist band and slipped it on my wrist with no trouble at all. In fact, the wrist band came in handy to wipe the sweat from my eyes.

Before I forget, yes, they did have a bag drop at the start. I put my name on my bag and handed it over. The hardest part was finding it at the finish. They laid the bags out in an area beside the tent. It was a little like looking for a specific needle among a huge group of needles, but I did find my bag.

The results were posted right on time as advertised and the awards went off likewise.

I can only assume there was ample parking at the start. I do know there was plenty of parking at the finish.

Overall, I give these guys at Wrightsville Beach an "A" for their efforts. I would certainly considering it do it again.

The drive from Charlotte was about 4ish hours but once I got past Wadesboro, the speed limit ranges from 55 to 70 all the way to Wrightsville Beach.

Definitely this is one of the better places to visit for running in my opinion.


Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Quintiles Wrightsville Beach Marathon 2:46:16

Sunday morning around 3:30 AM I just got up. I didn't feel like sleeping anymore. My marathon was starting in a few hours and after months of training; I felt that I was ready for it.

The start was a couple of miles from the finish so most people took the buses over. I opted for the same approach. My hotel was only a quarter mile from the buses.

I talked to a few others during the ride. For one guy, this was to be his first marathon. Our ride only lasted a few minutes and the buses dropped us off in an empty parking lot to wait for the start.

Preparation is everything. I pulled out my extra large towel and found a building to lean against. I then settled in for the hour plus wait until the start.

Fortunately, I found a couple of talkative runners nearby and we passed the time swapping stories about races that we had run or were planning to run.

When 6:15 AM came, I quickly shifted out to my racing gear. I dropped my bag with the baggage check van and then made a final stop by the porta potties.

Because Wrightsville beach has some bride construction going over to the island, the race organizers setup this weird wave start. Anyone slower than 12 minutes would start at 6:20. The main race would start at 6:40. Usually, I expect to be catching people in the latter stage of a marathon when there is an adjoining ½ marathon but not in the first few miles. I tried to keep an open mind and hoped for the best. Side note here, I passed what I believe was the last of the wave one runners at 7 miles into the race. I guess not everyone in the wave one start was running 12 or more minutes per mile.

This was my first visit to Wrightsville Beach so I don't know how many running stores are in the area. What I do know is that I saw a lot of TrySports jerseys in the crowd. I also go lots of encouragement from people along the course yelling "go TrySports" and even a couple of cyclist sporting the TrySports colors along the course. I met Lou who works in the local TrySports store and we even know some of the same TrySports people.

I joined the rest of the runners getting in some strides before the start. Sun rise is 7:20 this time of year in Wrightsville Beach so we were doing everything by street light. I chatted with a couple of the other guys at the start and we were trying to figure who was running the marathon and who was running the half. We all had the same bib style so we were not having any luck with a visual identification.

Finally, we are off. After months of waiting, I am anxious and the adrenaline was flowing.

During the first mile, I am trying to find my rhythm. I am also trying to pay close attention to the road ahead. The darkness hides gentle disruptions in the pavement. After months getting ready, I don't want to step in a hole the first mile.

I make the loop around by the beach and cross the first of two bridges. The first mile was 6:18 which is perfect for me. I then settle in running with a couple of other guys. Miles were starting to get faster. I start clicking off some 6:08s, and then 6:04s. Then I see a couple of sub 6s. This is way too fast for me so I let them go.

It hard watching them slowly pull away from me but I am trying to keep my eye on the bigger picture. I knew I was still running faster than I should be.

We made the right and went by the Mayfield area. We turn in the Land Fall subdivision. This is the part of the course that I couldn't preview because it is a closed community. I have no idea what to expect.

I found this area nice for running but very lonely. There were only a few people out to watch. I had expected there to be more people out. The course through Land Fall wasn't totally flat. There was just enough uphill to work the quads and then some downhill to let them recover. My first lap through this area felt pretty good.

The "full" and "half" split around 11 miles and I headed back out for the beach loop again. As I pass a couple of course workers, I ask them how many runners have passed. They tell me – 5. The thought crosses my mind that I am not going to have a top 5 finish today, but a 6th place finish wouldn't be that bad. I go back across the bridge. Interesting note, this is a grated bridge with some missing sections in it. I make a point to step carefully to avoid the holes in it.

There was this guy in a "yellow" jersey that I had been chasing for a long time. He has been my carrot for quite a while now. Suddenly, he darts off the road. The course monitors are looking at where he left the road. I come up on them and ask where he went. They didn't know. I am already thinking he is cutting the course. Cutting across he could easily shave off a couple of miles. Then, just as suddenly as he disappeared, he reappears from the bushes. False alarm, I am guessing he needed a nature break.

I finish the beach loop again and head back across the bridge. The second trip over the bridge doesn't feels as easy as it did the first time. I am meeting other people coming out to make this same loop. I love the distraction. I really need the distraction.

The temperature at the start was 57 degrees. I am now 15 miles into the race. The sun is up and the temperature has already climbed well into the 60s. I notice that I am perspiring a lot. Water is running down the sides of my face.

Miles 15, 16, and 17 pass. I merge into the "half" marathon making their way to finish. Only in a few circumstance were people walking 3 or 5 abreast. For the most part, I had plenty of room to run.

Looking left and seeing the finish had been painful on the first loop. Seeing it again I really wanted to be finished.

Having already made one loop through Land Fall, I know what to expect. I go about a mile to the "wrist band" station. I make the extra quarter mile out and back with a U-turn at the end so I can pick up my "yellow" wrist band. Without it, they would try to send me out for the beach loop a third time.

The wrist band was a cotton material. I had expected to be one of those snap wrist band, but I really liked this one. Sweat had been running into my eyes and this worked out great to remove the sweat burning into my eyes.

I pass 20 miles. I am still averaging about 6:15 per mile. The roads are even more lonely now as most people have grown tired of watching the race and went back into their homes. Other than a few course workers, I am alone with my thoughts and my fatigue. I hit mile 23 with a 6:28 mile. I try to make a deal with my body. Get me 3 miles and I promise I will stop running for today. The rocking motion of the hills that felt so good 13 miles earlier wasn't feeling so much now. The up hills I was feeling decent but the downhills and flats my hamstring were at the point of quitting. Several times I thought they would completely balk on me.

Mile 24 was 6:36 and Mile 25 was 6:46. I am pretty much in survival mode now. I am also back in the very end of the "half" marathoners. I am looking at my Garmin. Thoughts of getting under 2:46 are whispering in the back of my brain. I just need to pull out the last of my strength. I try.

For a short period, I feel excited. My body is responding. Then, my hamstrings really start to complain. I cross the 26 mile point. Any other day, I would be sprinting this last .2 miles to the finish. Today, my gait is now dissolved into a survival shuffle.

I cross the finish line. My hamstrings hurt. My feet hurt more. The only thought running through my brain was why did I do this? It's not like I have anything to prove. Probably the worst time to ask someone if they want to do another marathon is just after they have finished a marathon.

Honestly, I was pretty dejected with time and my effort. My training had been great. My times indicated that I was capable of so much more. However, I just didn't produce.

So I found my drop bag and hobbled back to the hotel. This felt like the slowest walk of my life. People were even passing me on the walk back.

Like I said; probably the worst time to analyze my race is right after I finish it. That's exactly what was going through my brain.

Given some time and distance from the event, I get a much better perspective on it.

Really, I am too hard on myself.

Yes, my last few marathons have been slower. What does each have in common? They were all run in temperatures either at or above 60 degrees. Clearly these are not great days to run marathon. Adding to the thought, I am not a great hot weather runner.

At the end of the day, I controlled all of the factors that I could. The weather, the course, and the other runners I just have to take my chances that it all works out.

I ran 2:46:16. I finished 6th overall and the first Male Masters runner. When I think about it, this wasn't the easiest of days to run. I hung on when others might have quite. This is a fact that makes me very proud.


Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner



Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Land of Lost Intervals

Ever had one of those days where just about everything that could go wrong did go wrong. This is how my day seems to be going to today.

The story is long – actually too long so I will only share the lost interval portion with everyone.

Early this morning Megan and I headed to the PDS track so I can finish my last hard workout. This was to be my final tune up before my marathon on Sunday. I am not sure why but I am dreading doing this workout. The weather was warm and humid with a steady drizzle of rain falling on us.

We make one pass around the track before I start my 6 x 800s with quarter recovery.

If sluggishness were water, I could fill a swimming pool with it.

A few weeks ago, I did a similar type of workout and could only average 2:45 to 2:46. I guess part of my hesitation in doing this workout falls back to the "Yasso 800" theory. The minutes and seconds of my 800s would equate to the hours and minutes of my potential marathon time. Honestly, I really don't need to know this info. I would rather be surprised on race day. If someone could tell me right now what I would run on race day, I would have a hard time deciding if I would disappointed or relieved. This is why I run the marathon. To see what I am made of.

Back to the story, I take off on the first 800. Two laps fly by and my body feels like it is struggling to come up to speed. I click my Garmin – 2:46. Ugh, I was hoping for something faster. The effort was present but there was no turnover in my legs.

I take my quarter recovery and head off on the second 800 interval. Again two laps pass. This time I click my Garmin and it says 2:43. Ah, this is definitely better but not nearly enough.

I come around to finish the third interval. This time my Garmin says 2:42. This is still not perfect, but I am definitely getting happier with the result.

I hit my lap button to start the fourth interval, and I am digging up the track to make this the fastest one so far. For two laps, I am pumping my arms and churning my legs and listening to pretty much the absence of any steady breathing. I came around to finish the second lap and attempt to hit my Garmin split button. Nothing happens. I try pressing it again. Again, nothing happened. I try pressing the "start" button thinking that I stopped it instead of hitting the lap button. Still nothing happened. I jogged along trying to catch my breath and figure out my Garmin troubles. Finally, I try to cut if off and back on. This seems to have done the trick but I lost my fourth interval. I no idea how much time, effort and energy was expended on it. Possibly this was my best and fastest interval of the day, and it is forever doomed to the land of lost intervals.

I could not ponder the issue to longer. A quarter mile goes by quickly even when I am jogging.

If I was never going to figure out the fourth interval, I was going to make doubly sure intervals 5 and 6 were good ones.

I went hard on 5. My legs felt wobbly after the first quarter. I wanted badly to slow up but I didn't. Elapse time for the fifth 800 was 2:41. The recovery seems to fly by again. Everyone can get it up for the last one. Right? I pushed hard from the start. I could feel my legs wanting to quit. My breathing was heavy. I could feel the wind blowing into my face coming down the front stretch and at my back going in the opposite direction. I remind myself that it was only 2 laps. I can suffer through anything for 2 laps.

I clicked my Garmin lap split. The time was 2:40. Nice.

The week of OBX last fall, I ran this exact same workout. Every interval I ran between 2:45 to 2:46. On race day I ran 2 hours and 46 minutes. This morning, I started at 2:46 and finished at 2:40.

What does this mean?

My guess, it means I could run anywhere between 2:40 and 2:46 with the most likely time being around 2:43. When I consider that I ran Myrtle Beach in 1:17. Using the standard marathon math abstraction, my projected time would be 2 hours and 44 minutes

Now, comes the hard part. On Sunday, I have to go out and prove that I am capable of doing this marathon in this range.

Wish me luck,


Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Nearly all of the hay is in the barn

This is an expression that I have heard used many times by marathoners through the years. They wind down their training plans and start their tapering for their chosen marathon. I guess this expression is derived from when a farmer had finished cutting hay in the fields and stored it in the barn for the winter. With his work now done, he is ready for a rest period.

When I think about it, the metaphor does make sense for runners.

For months, I have been working hard getting by body into shape, running many long runs, pushing myself harder with intervals, lifting weights to strengthen my muscles, and using setups and plank to strengthen my core. This work is done; I can now rest and use these reserves that I have built up on race day.

This is definitely a good expression to remember.


Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner

Friday, March 8, 2013

6, 5,4,3,2, 1 workout

Early this morning, I went out for an interval workout of 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 minute intervals. This gives me just 21 minutes of work which is not a lot. However, I have to take into account that I am just over a week out from my marathon. I am not going to be making any huge improvements in these last 10 days. Workouts like this one are there to keep my running engine tuned without over stressing it. The last thing that I want to do at this point is run a workout that leaves me tired and sore for several days. The risk vs. reward just isn't there.

Thus, this morning I ran about 4 miles of warm up and the launched into the first 6 minute interval. My legs felt a little sluggish but then they always do. Three minutes of recovery went by rather fast and then I was off on the 5 minute interval. After so many harder workouts these didn't seem so bad. Two and half minutes later I was headed off on the 4 minute interval. Running time intervals vs. running distance interval are a big switch up. If I run a distance interval, and I don't make the time that I expect. It is a little depressing. Timed intervals are a little more abstract. Yeah, my Garmin still measures the distance and the average pace, but there is no clear starting point or stopping point. Somehow, it just seems make a difference. Plus, I can always fall back on the excuse that this is a road workout rather than a nice flat track workout. I expect to be a little slower.

In any workout once I hit the half point, I always seem to feel better. The three minute interval went by quickly, but the minute and half recovery went by even faster. During my two minute interval I felt like I was running hard and in fact I was. Gauging how hard to run isn't easy but the working assumption is the shorter the distance the more suffering I can handle. The final minute came and went almost as an afterthought.

Surprisingly, I started this workout at 4 miles and it took me nearly 5 miles to complete it. This includes the distance covered during the interval and the recovery. There is nothing like finishing a workout and having just a short distance to cool down back home.

Total running time was 73 minutes which I will take any day. My average heart rate for the entire workout – warmup, intervals, recovery, and cool down was 147. Setting aside my max heart at the very start, the max it ever hit was 166. This gives me plenty of room under my 180 cap to run harder or to run the current pace much longer.

Tomorrow is 16 miles and 6 x 800 on Tuesday. Otherwise, my running goes into easy running a.k.a rest mode until next Sunday morning.


Sharing on thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner



Thursday, March 7, 2013

Dried Apple Rings

Primarily my posts are on the topic of running or something very closely related to running. Occasionally I do change things up.

Being single, I do cook for myself. I like to cook but to prepare a good meal, it takes time. After running in the morning and then working all day, sometimes I just don't have the mental energy to spend another hour or more fixing a nice dinner.

On these evenings, I tend to head up the road to the Huntersville's Earth Fare. Earth Fare has a little buffet of hot foods, salads, and pizza plus some other stuff. In this health conscious society I really like the fact that they don't use any artificial ingredients in their foods.

Being an active person has made me take more active view of what I put in to my body to power it.

Aside from the quick foods that Earth Fare offers, I like to just roam through the store. They carry stuff that I just never see at Walmart, Harris Teeter, or Food Lion. For example, yesterday I picked up some dried Apple rings. I am not talking about the prepackaged in a plastic bag type that they sell at Walmart. These looked fresh and ready to eat.

I picked some up and headed for the counter. Settling into my car seat, I opened the container and took my first bite. I couldn't wait any longer.

My taste buds enjoyed the sweet taste of the dried apples as they floated across my tongue. The flavor was better than I remembered, and I wished that I had found this so much sooner.

I highly recommend just going by an Earth Fare and checking out their stores. Look for the unusual items. Switching up my diet keeps things interesting. – Just a suggestion


Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

8 mile solo tempo

My stressor workouts are winding down quickly before my upcoming marathon. This morning, I was out in the rain for an 8 mile tempo run. Usually for my runs like this one I am slow getting out of the gate. Truth be told, I think it has something to do with me getting older. I seem to take longer to do everything.

However, this morning I was all over it from the first step of my warm up. I never felt particular fast or that I was working particular hard during the workout. The miles just seemed to stream by quickly.

Before I knew it, my tempo was over, and I was warming down back to my house.

This morning, I was wearing my heart monitor – just as a sanity check. I don't wear it daily, but I try to wear it more during my workouts. I use it to spot key indicators like my heart rate getting unusually high or taking unusually long to recovery. These can be signs that I am getting close to over training. This also raises a flag for me to take a couple of easy days. Sometimes I forget that I need extra time to let my body bounce back from hard efforts.

I have only two more stressors workouts this week. Friday, I will be doing a set of 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 minute intervals. I will follow this with a Saturday long run of 16 miles. Once my Sunday run is complete, I will have approximately 76 mile total for the week. This is my typical weekly mileage two weeks out from a marathon.

Best thing for me to remember, sleep and rest are my too biggest allies over the next week and half.


Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner.




Saturday, March 2, 2013

5 mile tempo over the WC8K course

Mike and Steve came out this morning and ran with me in my Snow Flurry 5 mile tempo over the Winter Classic 8k course. At the end of each marathon cycle, I like to run an 8k race roughly two weeks out from my marathon. Since I couldn't find an 8k locally, I opted for a 5 mile tempo and was really glad for the help from Steve and Mike. I cannot say enough what it means to run with group vs. doing a solo effort.

The weatherman said we might get some snow today. Having some snow fall during the tempo would have been nice. And while I did drive through some snow heading to McAlpine, the snow completely missed us during the workout. I guess it was just wishful thinking by calling it the Snow Flurry 5 mile tempo.

After a 2 mile warm up, we gathered at the WC8k starting line. With a node of heads that each of us was ready, we headed off. Mike jumps out fast and gaps Steve and me by 20 yards. We catch up to Mike a little past the ½ mile point. From there, I reach the first mile in 5:58. I have to duck under the caution tape. At 9 AM, there was a "Run for Jen" 5k taking place and they have the course marked up for it. I covered the second mile in 6:01. I felt like I was starting to tighten up a bit. To keep things in check, I focused on slowing my breathing and trying to relax. The 3 mile was much better – 5:54. Knowing I only had 2 miles left, my plan materialized on fly to maintain a steady pace to the end. Mile 4 was covered in 5:56. Mile 5 went by in 5:59 and my overall time was 29:49.

We regrouped at the 5 mile point and headed back to Old Bell for a 2 mile cool down. We met up with Megan near the Old Bell entrance. I dropped off Mike and Steve, and then I ran with Megan for a short distance before ending my workout at 10 miles.

In retrospect, this workout went better than I expected. With Monday's mile repeats and with Wednesday long interval workout during my mid week long run, I have been feeling rather flat the last two days. Warming up I was not setting my expectation too high. However, once I got warmed up and rolling, the miles just seemed to string together. I am keeping my fingers crossed that in two weeks; I can string 26 of these miles together.

Wish me luck,

Sharing on thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner


Friday, March 1, 2013

Brooks Silver Bullet Jacket

This spring Charlotte has been pounded with rain days almost every week. Add on to it, that January and February days are cold so it makes being outside less than desirable.

Trying to run in the rain and cold, I have had more than a few miserable experiences. The water soaks through each layer of clothing. Then, the cold just starts to settle-in. By the end of my runs, I am pretty much open to any potential solution that keeps me dry.

This spring I found "Silver Bullet" to my cold rainy days. I say "Silver Bullet" meaning the Brooks Silver Bullet Jacket. Earlier this week, I headed out for my run. The temperature was in the mid 30s, the wind was blowing, and of course, the rain was pouring down.

This jacket kept the rain out and kept me warm with just a Tech Running – T under it. I finished my 10 mile run and my Tech Running-T was totally dry on this terrible day of days. I love it when I can stay dry because it makes all the difference in the world. I have run in a few jackets where the soaking from the sweat just as bad being soaked as the rain.

The jacket is on the pricey side at $150 dollars, but I suspect it will last a long time – assuming I don't start wearing it every day.


Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner