Tuesday, 20 December 2011

The Art of Layering and the Battle of the Holiday Bloat

My present to myself (re: my unlimited week at SPYNGA) was a rip roaring success! I ended up going to 6 classes last week - including a double header on Sunday (which totally kicked my butt by the way - I can still feel it in my legs and abs 2 days later). Spin and Body Conditioning classes were a great way to shake up my fitness routine and give myself a mental break from my chilly runs...but it is back to business as usual this week and that means braving the elements.

Yep its cold out there
The Christmas hustle has hit me hard and from here on out life is going to start to get a little crazy. I feel like I have a different event every day until the new year - all of which include LOTS of food, and travel to several cities and locations. In other words in order to maintain some sort of balance over the next 2-3 weeks I am going to need to squeeze in exercise where I can and where ever I end up. Thus, RUNNING is my activity of choice during this busy holiday season!

Luckily so far (knock on wood, cross my fingers, pray to the weather gods) this winter has been unseasonably warm here in Toronto. So running outside isn't a complete nightmare. We are averaging a whopping 1 degree celsius (or 34 degrees Fahrenheit) so while I don't turn into an icicle after 30 minutes - bundling up is still a pre-requisite. Layering is a must, but also a fine art!

All my gear!
You want to feel cool when you first venture out into the winter conditions (i.e., cool not cold, and definitely not freezing). I always feel chilly when I first start out (<--- see photo to your left), especially because typically the only time I have to squeeze my runs in is either before the sun comes up or after it has already set. My run is always in the dark and thus when the day's temperature is at its coldest. That damn daylight savings gets me every time!

3 top layers
I tend to layer up more on my top half. I typically use the 3 layer method - a tight base layer (I have this awesome fleece-y Nike base layer which is extra cozy), a light-ish mid-layer, and a water resistant outer layer (for those snowy runs). I don't really like to wear as much on the bottom because it starts to get restrictive and a bit cumbersome. So this year for my birthday my parents bought me these great cold weather Lululemon running tights - to help block the wind while also being completely functional. I obviously always don a toque (we are in Canada after all), gloves, and of course my trusty heart monitor. And by the end of my 5-10km loop I am usually warm and a little sweaty (aka just right). But a warm shower and a cup of tea are always welcome post-run!

With D-day scheduled for any time in the new year (so frustrating to not have a date yet) I want to come away from this holiday season feeling fit, strong, and ready for battle. And if that wasn't enough I have made myself a dinner date with two other Toronto based Fitfluential-ers Robyn Baldwin and Morgan Shuker who are both seriously fit and fabulous chicks. Umm...how did I end up in the same category as these girls again?! I know I have no idea either...did you see those abs??! So needless to say I feel like gotta bring my A-game if I am gonna roll with these ladies. (**thanks for that extra holiday motivation push chickies!**) With all this fun, exciting, and slightly daunting things scheduled for the new year my motivation is high, my plan is laid out, and all my running gear (layers and all) can easily fit in my overnight bag - so this holiday season I got this!

I promise to keep you guys posted on my holiday running progress! Wish me luck!
How are you guys planning to battle the holiday bloat?
Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,