How Not to Hibernate During the Winter

by Ryan Cooper

    Ryan Cooper, Michelle Davis and Travis Carr at the
              2023 HMRRC Hangover Half Marathon

Let’s play a game: The below describes what?

The bike paths are covered in ice and snow. The shoulders of the road are a bit narrower and you just took your 3rd slush bath of the day. The track has turned into a skating rink. You go to work in the dark and come home in the dark. Road salt has burned your face, nose and throat.

If you guessed winter in the Northeast you are correct, the gloomy time between Christmas and St. Patrick's Day. More days than not I find myself looking at my log and then the weather to figure out the best plan of attack. In the spring, summer and fall I have so many awesome places to run that doesn’t include playing level 10 of Frogger wondering if that car barreling down the road is looking at me or that text from their grandma asking what a TikTok is.

I know many people reading this absolutely hate the noun that starts with tread and ends with mill, where you can run 10 miles and never leave a 2x2 area, but for me I actually have made a sport of it. Being a Y member I have found treadmills that sync with my Apple Watch, probably another trigger but trust me the Ultra is legit, which helps me pace and record workouts with great accuracy. Instead of running the various neighborhood loops I run at different Y’s in the area. Again, it is literally running in the same spot but at least it gives some sort of variety. As far as running on the t-word at home I have found that watching music videos on YouTube from back when music videos were good, 1990’s - 2000’s, really helps pass the time and next thing you know you are done.

  The offspring always defeats boredom,
            a symptom of cabin fever

When it is time to go outside and brave the elements the HMRRC Winter Series is a great way to also keep moving in the winter. I personally like the Hangover Half Marathon as it is a laid back HM where you get to see faces you haven’t since November. I feel like this “race” also is the official kickoff for the spring training season and a great organized long run. On the weekends and Wednesdays Coach Mat Nark and the crew don’t disappoint. Long runs and workouts are always hot and spicy where we sometimes freeze together but at least we all live to tell, well as far as I know! Having a group to run with where you feel accountable quickly takes away all the excuses of why you can’t run that day.

       While traveling for work it is nice to see the sights
                 even when the “Windy City” is just that

Finally, for us guys finding a blog or recommendations on clothing is pretty much nonexistent so I will share some of my favorites with you.

Shoes: Nike Winflo 8 Shield & Ultraboost 22 COLD.RDY | Both are extremely warm and have great traction.

Socks: Smartwool Running Socks | These keep the heat even if wearing Flyknit shoes like Nike Tempo Next%’s

Gloves: UA Storm Liner Gloves | They are on the thin side but start with hand warmers and ditch them once you get warmed up.

Jacket: Lululemon Surge Warm 1/2 Zip | This is more of a midweight half zip but if it is super cold I’d recommend a long sleeve shirt under it.

Pants: Lululemon Surge Warm Tight 29” | Warm, Wind Proof, Pockets!

Hat: UA ColdGear Balaclava | Part hat, part neck warmer. The way this is constructed allows AirPods to not be pushed into your ears causing them to squeal.

Stay Warm. Stronger. Faster. Further


Ryan Cooper is the VP of Business Development for IEA Infrastructure Services as well as “The Mayor” of Nark Racing.

Click here for articles by and with Ryan “The Mayor”

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