With winter comes shorter days and earlier evenings. Even with fewer hours of daylight, winter is my favorite time to get out and run! Living in the southeast, the weather is absolutely perfect this time of year to start thinking about (and training for) any spring races I have might be scheming about.
As I think about my holiday gift giving, I inevitably also start to think about all the cool stuff I'd like to give and also unwrap myself. If I think about the best gift I've received that has helped me get out, lace up my sneakers and run when the sun has set, it's the Biolite Headlamp 330. It's super light (2.43oz), rechargeable and has a bounce-free design when you're running. On its brightest setting at 330 lumens, it's also bright enough to help me navigate on the trail and the road. For me, the brighter, the better because if there's a pothole or a ditch, I'm guaranteed to find it!
So, what is the best gift you can think for those who love to run in the dark?!
I also like the Nathan Vibe reflective vest. (Really more like suspender straps than a vest.) I run mostly on country roads. In winter, I'm often out there at dusk. Drivers notice me when I've got that thing strapped on.
I recently got an Outdoor Research Helium jacket. It's not really marketed as a "running jacket" ,but I got it for cold, rainy runs in my northeastern home. It got some negative reviews on the REI product page, mostly for wetting out. I had had good luck with OR jackets in the past, however, and decided to give it a shot. So far I have used it twice on miserable, cold, wet runs, and I have to report that I am happy with it. The fabric has not wetted out on me and has kept me comfortable on five-mile runs in steady rains. Granted, the inside gets a little steamy from sweat, but I expected that. It is a very packable, no-frills, rain jacket that does the job for me. It helps me get out the door when the weather looks gloomy.