Unseasonably Beautiful Weather and Gear Strategy
I can't remember a time when eating crow has tasted so good.
One of my posts from September was an exhortation to embrace the 2-4 weeks of beautiful weather between hot and cold weather seasons. But here it is, halfway through December and I was able to get out for a run in gorgeous 70 degree, sunny weather. Seriously, I couldn't be happier to have been wrong about this.
The sentiment from my above-referenced post remains though: get out there in this amazing weather! At some point or another, the weather will finally turn and the layering will commence. That can be fun too, but nothing beats going out for a run in nothing but shorts and shoes and it's not, strictly speaking, a good idea to do that when it's below 30 degrees.
Winter is a great time to keep the training level high because the conditions are often not optimal for running. Conditions are not always optimal for running on race day either so it can be a valuable way to figure out how to deal with an adverse situation.
The last half marathon I ran turned out to have pretty great weather considering it was late November in the southeast US. The problem was that the temperature went from pretty cold (comfortable with hat, gloves, long sleeves, etc.) to pretty warm (not needing those things). Fortunately, I had trained in similar weather and I knew what gear I needed for those temperatures and how to deal with shedding some of it while running.
I saw people tossing gloves, hats, shirts, and other accessories off on the road from about the first mile in all the way to the finish, which strikes me as less than stellar planning. Certainly, there are items that you won't lament losing in those categories and being comfortable during a half marathon is a good reason to lose a cheap pair of gloves, but it seemed to me like a waste. Particularly when the race encouraged donating clothing items at the start line.
Take this time of unseasonably great weather and get outside! Not only that, use the changing weather to your advantage to make sure you're ready to drop the elbow on your next race.