Sunday, January 15, 2012

Surviving a Maine Winter (And Enjoying It!)

Believe it or not, this picture was taken just a few weeks ago, during Christmas vacation, while enjoying one of our year round sports in the winter-goecaching. Notice my Chobani and my cute little 31 lunch sack I had made just for geocaching! I don't go anywhere without a snack.

Now onto the real post:

According to my colleague and friend, Debbie, I'm an "outdoor girl." She's right. I love to be out in the fresh air and my day isn't complete until I get a little bit of sunshine on my face! I'm also somewhat obsessed with exercising outdoors, maybe even exercising in general. No matter the season, you will find me outside exercising. In the spring and summer, I'll jog in the rain and I've been known to bike on a misty day. Accidentally (and I don't recommend it), I have even been seen biking in thunderstorms! In the fall, I relish the crisp autumn jogs on "my" dirt road and biking in warmer clothing. When the snow flies, I am anxious for big snowstorms that provide a great cushion for snowshoeing or skiing. If the winter is like this year, I continue jogging. This weekend, I jogged on Saturday in several inches of snow which prompted my decision to ski on Sunday.
Debbie's facebook post inspired me to create this post the whole time I skied. She said she wouldn't be going out night snowshoeing because it was too cold and I replied she just needed to dress for the occasion. Here, I will share what I wear on a five below zero day so I can get my daily sunshine and exercise!
These pictures were taken after my 5-mile ski and I promise I will only disrobe to the last layer. Here's what I looked like right when I got back. Note my outer layer-a windbreaker, a hat, and unlined wind pants. See Boomer in the background? He and Daisy go, too. They have little neck warmers and they run the whole time.
The first thing I did when I got inside was get a mason canning jar (why do they call it mason? I'll have to look that up), put 8 ounces of skim milk in it, a squirt of chocolate syrup, put the lid on, shake it, and put it in the freezer. I'll come back to the chocolate milk later.
Here's what I look like after taking off my first 2 layers-remember, I only dress in this many layers when it's below zero and the wind is blowing. Otherwise, for winter activities, I usually only have on 2 shirts, one windbreaker and one fleece.

Left: I wear a red LL Bean fleece that I've had for about 15 years. It's not very thick, but it does the job. On a normal winter day, I don't wear the outer blue windbreaker. That blue jacket is not lined, so it's very thin. I wore my balaclava and a scarf today-I only wear those on windy, below zero days. The pants in the first picture are just a pair of Adidas running pants. Right: The pants in the middle are the next and last pant layer-a pair of compression running pants. And check out those socks. Mark got those for me for Christmas (or as our second graders say, "I got it from Christmas."). They are compression and they go all the way up to my knee and I love them. I only ever wear one pair of socks in the winter. For any other winter sport, I wear a pair of LL Bean Smart Wool socks. In the middle, I also have my biking windbreaker-just a thin layer and a little fleece neck warmer I made. The two places I can't stand any cold air hitting are my neck and my ankles. Lower: My compression socks!

Left: A wick away moisture type of shirt (an old one from Dicks). Right: Another wick away-Kohls has them cheap when they have sales. Lower: A wick away moisture shirt-from Target.

And that's the last layer! A tank top. I was a wash of sweat when I got home-just look at my hair! But...I never once got cold despite the wind blowing and the cold temps. So, dress in layers and you'll be all set to survive a cold Maine winter. Once you find something you love to do outside, Spring gets here before you know it.
One of my favorite parts of today's ski was seeing a deer on the way out and seeing beautiful Mount Katahdin on the way back. I always have to stop and marvel at its beauty. I'm in awe that I've actually climbed it 5 times and flown through it twice. I didn't bring my camera, so here's a shot from last summer when Brad took me on a plane ride:

Back to that chocolate milk. This month in my Runner's World subscription, they suggested drinking chocolate milk within 30 minutes after a jog to restore the protein in your body. That's what I'm doing. Drank my milk and went down cellar and did a 400 rep challenge with Lisa and arms with Sean. Now I'm off to log my daily exercise onto myfitnesspal to see if I earned a little treat!