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All I want for Christmas…


One of the many things I love about my job at The Very Good Run Fast Shoppe (not its real name) is that there is peanut butter everywhere. In the staff break room, in the office kitchenette, stuck on random stockroom shelves, on the receiving manager’s desk–just PB everywhere. I find it both thrilling and comforting (which I find nerdy and creepy). I think it is because for the last 3 years I’ve had such, um, interesting coworkers, it is nice to feel like I might be among kindred spirits. Peanut butter is like the go-to protein snack for all runners, and the “normal” person might consider the amount of peanut butter that we consume in my house shocking. But my coworkers? They would get it.

Another thing I love about my job is that the two Helly Hansen base layers I ordered should be arriving any day now. I can’t wait to try them, especially now that the unseasonably mild fall we’ve been enjoying is quickly coming to a close. On Monday morning I ran in shorts and a thin long-sleeved tee and was broiling. This morning I wore my lined UA tights, a base layer, a mid layer, a shell, a hat (like a for-real hat not my UA cap), and gloves–and I was FREEZING!! I definitely need stock up with some key pieces if I am going to survive running in the impending Canadian winter, but the HH shirts are a great start!

I've got a Flamingo (above) and a Vivid Violet coming my way!

I’ve made a mental list mentally named Things I Need to Not Freeze this Winter. I’ve kept it realistic (read: short and affordable), but with these pieces and smart layering, I should avoid frostbite.

Brooks Adapt Glove – New this year, this glove has a water-resistant mitten that tucks neatly into the back of the hand. When temps drop, wind picks up, it starts to snow, or all of the above, just pull the reflective windshield mitten around your hand for ultimate protection. My hands and my feet are always in agony after below-freezing runs, so I think these 2-in-1 gloves will make a big difference.

Darn Tough Socks – I recently bought my first pair of wool socks (it only took me how many years of running?) and was amazed at the difference. My feet felt so warm but not sweaty or swampy since wool wicks moisture away from the skin. It was the perfect temperature balance! The wool was not itchy at all and the seamless stitching felt great across the tops of my feet (no weird rubbing or bunching). I definitely need to stock up on more, and I love the variety offered by Darn Tough. They have no-show, ankle length, calf length, and knee socks and within those categories are different thicknesses, foot cushioning, and colors. I don’t think I will ever cheap out on socks again!

Craft Mid Layer – In previous, non-Canadian, winters, I would just pile a whole bunch of t-shirts between my base layer and shell/outer layer. This year I know that’s not going to cut it. I need to keep my core warm, and the Craft mid layer seems perfect! It’s got a three-quarter zip top which can be opened from either the top or bottom for ventilation. If you do unzip from the top, there is a meshy material behind the zipper that will allow some cool air in but will protect your skin from a direct blast. The cut is flattering, the colors are pretty, and the reflective piping is an extra bit of protection at dawn and dusk.

Sugoi Midzero Bun Toaster – They may look like compression shorts, but these are underwear that KEEP YOUR BOOTY WARM! Is this not an amazing time to be alive?! Thin enough to wear under tights and pants, the Bun Toaster has a thermal fabric to keep you toasty as you kick up snow and slush. I can’t think of anything I want to do more than protect my special bottom parts this winter!

The bonus “If money was not object” item:
Craft PXC Storm Tight – Not only do I like the slightly looser fit of these tights, but the front features wind panels (to protect the quads) above an articulated knee. This means every time you bend your knees, the bottom of the pants don’t pull up–you don’t want those ankles exposed to the arctic temps! The fleece lining is super soft and will keep you snuggly without over-heating. Plus: a small pocket means I wouldn’t have to pin my car key to the inside of the waistband! Yay!

I want these but they are pretty steep at $120-$130. Sad face.

 Maybe Santa will be extra nice to me this year if I cook Santa some extra steak dinners between now and Christmas…

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