Welcome to the Arctic! I mean, welcome to Minnesota or as I like to call it, the “Freezer of the USA”. Normally we do not get these temperatures until the middle of January but not this year. There is nothing like spending Christmas Day holed up inside because it is so cold that the doors were frozen shut. And this craziness extended well into New Year’s Day. This last part worked well because we literally spent the day watching college football bowls and woot! Woot! My Crimson Tide won the Sugar Bowl and is headed for the National Championship next Monday! #ROLLTIDE
But back to running. These temperatures have been brutal for running outdoors. And I needed to do so. I did it… and I love it! My last run of 2017 was a chilly -7°F run on December 30th. I am writing this and cannot believe that I am actually saying this because I always swore I. WOULD. NEVER. DO. THAT. Think again. Friday after work, I got home and the sun was shining in all its glory. I did not intend to run but I started itching to get outside. Have you ever gotten like that? Just antsy to just go out and run. So I bundled up and headed out the door. Now, this was not about time nor distance. I had a ballpark distance in mind but decided to just gauge how far I would run by the signals from my body. What did I learn?
No. 1 – Within 3 minutes of running, my sunglass lenses just froze. Literally had a film of ice on the lenses.Which meant I could not see with them. This then caused me to take them off, which caused me to be blinded by the few inches of snow we have on the fields.
No. 2 – I was warmer than I expected. That was surprising. The entire time I was warm (most due to the layers I had).
No. 3 – The only part of my body that was freezing the last part of the run was my thighs. They were red and when I took a shower after, it was not fun. I wore two pant layers: a Brooks running tights and a pair of skiing pants that I found two years ago. They are the best. But apparently not for this subzero temperature.
As soon as I relaxed in front of the fire I did some research and found something called “thermal tights” which are made for running in the cold, but most were for up to 20°F. Anything under that temperature had to be worn with another layer. But I found a company called Sugoi, based out of that specializes in cold weather athletic apparel, specifically tights. And they have a few that are for subzero temperatures. I felt like I hit the jackpot! Now, I eagerly wait for these to arrive.
No. 4 – Within 10 minutes frost covered any piece of clothing that was in directed contact with moisture and cold air. Meaning, my hat and scarves looked white by the frost. I had pellets of ice on my eyebrow and lashes. It was crazy. I think, next time I am wearing a face mask, even if I don’t love it.
No. 5–I love my trail running shoes! This past fall I made my first official trail running shoe and I wanted to give it a try in snow/ice before writing a review. My new favorite trail shoe is the Adidas Vigor Bounce.
Immediately, you can tell this is not a shoe for the shy. It screams “Look at me!’. The design of this shoe was the first thing that caught my eye. It is sweet. But after that, what did I like:
Traction: One of my biggest pet peeves is trail shoes with no traction. Drives me nuts.And right off the bat this is my favorite feature of this shoe. I have tried it on the trails in dry and wet conditions, over wet leaves, in muddy areas, and now in snow and ice, and this is easily my favorite trail running shoe. On the trails it is necessary to have a level of confidence on your equipment especially in nasty conditions and the Vigor Bounce delivers. But they really shine in snow, where the traction reminded me of the all-terrain tires on my Jeep giving me with a secure grip on the run. This is thanks to Adidas’ ADAPTIVE TRAXION™ outsole for maximum traction on hard and soft ground. It is a very responsive shoe.
Stability/Stiffness: While it is a stable shoe, it is not super stiff. The break-in period for these was about two 4-mile runs, and they feel pretty awesome now.
This shoe is for the neutral runner, however I am a bit of an over-pronator and it works for me. It provided me the arch support that I needed without any problem.
Since it is winter, I was a bit concerned with the ventilated air mesh upper. It has a protective overlay for support but in snow conditions, I do not want my feet freezing. This worked like a charm. My feet were warm just enough to give me a comfortable run. I wouldn’t recommend for deep snow though. Adding a gaiter would be necessary.
All in all— a fantastic shoes for me.
Have you ever run in subzero temps? Do you have a favorite trail shoe?