Monday, January 10, 2011

The Running Pumpkin

Yay! My new blindingly bright, glow-in-the-dark Saucony jacket arrived today. I absolutely LOVE this new jacket. I wasn't so sure about it at first though. I mean, look at it...

First of all, it's orange. BRIGHT, fluorescent, glow in the dark, able to see it from space bright orange. The photo does NOT do justice to the true brightness of it. It's actually a little painful to look at. In fact, if you Google Mapped my address, you'd probably be able to see an orange glow coming from my bedroom window. About three seconds after I ordered it, I started regretting it because I just knew I was going to look like a giant glow in the dark pumpkin.

And see that white stripe down the front and the white splotches near my wrists? In real life, they are a rather dark and ugly gray. But hey - they glow in the dark! And camera flashes apparently.

One cool feature that I didn't realize it even had when I ordered it is that it comes with a battery operated LED flashing light on the right arm. You know, the arm closest to the on-coming cars. Another cool thing about it is how thin it is. It's so thin I could ball it up nice & tight and fit it into the change section of my wallet if I so desired.

Of course, I had to try the jacket out as soon as I got it. I was a little worried, the jacket is awfully thin and it was awfully cold today. The actual temperature was 31 but said it felt like 23 degrees. Personally, I'd say it was closer to zero. The wind was blowing something fierce! And we were having snow flurries. But the salesman had assured me that it was going to keep the wind out, so off I went. Wearing only my tights, el-cheapo Target "tech" shirt, the jacket, a fleece headband and my el-cheapo Target brand running gloves.

I sucked it up, stepped outside the door and started walking down the driveway. OMG! I'm gonna freeze my arse off out here. This coat is worthless! Then I realized, it was only my face that was cold. The rest of me was fine. Cool.

I started running and although the LED light is tiny, it's only about a half inch long, it was kinda bugging me bouncing around. As I pumped my arms, I could feel the weight of it bumping my arm. Luckily, long before I hit the first mile marker, I no longer noticed the bumping at all. And I was sort of paying attention to it. I kept thinking that it could get really annoying on long runs, but I really couldn't feel it at all after the first few minutes.

It was also a little weird getting used to elastic cuffs on my wrists. My old jacket didn't have elastic, it was just made out of that stretchy material that stayed tight on my wrists. I did have a few other thoughts about those elastic wrists. I was upset because my old jacket has super long sleeves with a hole in them so that you can pull the sleeve down over your hand & stick your thumb through the whole. With this new jacket, I'm either going to have frozen hands or I'll have to wear gloves. But then I realized, the main reason I don't wear gloves when the weather required me to pull down the old sleeves is because the old jacket's pockets didn't zip. If I started out in gloves then took them off, they'd always fall out of my pocket. The new jacket has zippered pockets so keeping up with the gloves will no longer be a problem. And I like wearing my gloves - they make great tissues!

Another super cool feature - I ran much faster than normal! How cool is that? My first mile was 68 seconds faster than my normal "fast" mile. Cool! Granted, I didn't keep up that fast pace for the full 5+ miles, but.... I just seemed to run better. Didn't feel the need for walk breaks and when I'd notice that I was breathing too hard, I was able to slow down and get my breathing under control much faster than normal. And, I was running so well that when I got to the end of my run and should have started my cool down walk, I completely forgot to walk! I kept running without even thinking about it. I was feeling so good, I'd added an extra mile to the run and I was just cruising along when all of a sudden, I was at my driveway. Crud! I never cooled down! So I ran a little further so that I could walk back. Sure hope my legs don't make me pay for that later!

When I finally did slow to do the cool down walk, I wasn't cold. Well, my face was frozen solid and my butt was cold, but my upper body was fine! When I got home and took the jacket off, I realized that my shirt was sweatier than normal, although I'd never felt sweaty while I had the jacket on. Never felt hot or cold. Cool!

And even better, the cars seemed to give me a wider berth than normal. I'm not sure if they were giving me room simply because they saw me, or because they were so blinded by the brightness of the jacket that they automatically swerved away from the glow. What ever. The jacket worked and kept the cars away from me and that was the main reason for buying the jacket in the first place.

On a totally different note, I just want to state how much I LOVE winter running. I've discovered I don't need a ponytail in the winter. The fleece headband keeps my bangs out of my face and the rest of my hair just does it's own thing. Granted, my hair is pretty wild and crazy when I get home, but..... It sure does feel "fun" blowing in the wind back there and I love watching my shadow. I feel very Bay Watch with my hair flowing out behind me.

1 comment:

  1. Oh what a GREAT jacket you have! I love your description of it and it sounds PERFECT!! I am a bit jealous, mostly because a have a perfectly good one in my house that I can't wear because it is too small to fit me since I decided to try the 40 extra pounds look. But after reading about the wonders of yours (mine does NOT have a flashing light, so it is WAY better than mine) I am just going to have to lose that weight so I can try mine on, too!