My name is Scott and I'm a runner... I guess

I've never really considered myself a runner.  I know a few... they do things like compete in 5k charity races and run marathons.  I have yet to do either as I'd much rather spend my free time skiing or riding my mountain bike.  But with last year's rainy summer, this winter's severe lack of snow in VT, and my own inability to stay still, I have been running a lot... at least by my standards.

Thankfully for me, there are several great clothing and accessory options available to help fight the cold, dark winter weather and keep me running, at least until the snow returns.  Following is a list of my favorites for staying warm, comfortable, and motivated.

Sierra Designs Microlight Accelerator jacket-  Blending a water-resistant, 100% nylon shell with a fast-wicking, brushed polyester "Accelerator" lining, the Microlight Accelerator quickly sheds light rain and melting snow while drawing internal moisture away from your skin.  More than just a shell, the Microlight's brushed Accelerator lining offers just a touch of insulation to keep you warm on cool mornings or during high exertion winter activities.  I like to wear this with a lightweight baselayer and a lightweight midlayer on even the coldest days.  ($69.00, www.SierraDesigns.com)

GoMotion Light Vest:   If you've ever run after dark on a busy road, you know that seeing is as essential as being seen.  This is why I love the GoMotion Light Vest.   Designed literally to "extend the day," the GoMotion Light Vest is a low-profile, super-lightweight, mesh pack with a sternum-mounted LED spotlight that can light up any road, path or trail.   A high-performance safety light, the GoMotion LightVest has three different light settings and an adjustable focus that can widen or narrow the cone of light.  ($99.95, www.gomotioninc.com).

Primus PrimeLite Race headlamp- With a range of 125 meters, the PrimeLite Race is the brightest headlamp in the Primus lineup and easily the brightest I've ever owned... a good thing when running outdoors after dark.  An aluminum case dissipates heat for a stronger beam while a separate battery case can be stowed in a pocket for less weight on your head and better cold weather performance.  Three light settings provide the perfect amount of light while maximizing burn time.  Runs on 4 AA batteries.  (www.primuscamping.com, $85.00)

Ahnu FireTrail Winter running shoe: Cold feet?  I get them.  Ice and blowing snow?  Standard conditions here in Vermont.  This is why I dig the Ahnu FireTrail Winter running shoes.  A rugged Vibram sole prevents slipping on any dry, wet or snowy surface.  Hydrophobic mesh repels water so it can't seep in while a moisture wicking mesh lining moves moisture away from your feet from the inside. The combination allows feet to breathe and stay dry, creating the optimal foot climate. ($119.95, www.ahnufootwear.com)

Origo Paso Pedometer watch- Accurate to within 2 feet per mile, the Origo Paso Pedometer Watch is a full-function workout companion.  Unlike standard pedometers, the Paso is worn on the wrist, providing instant access to distance traveled, calories burned, target step count, step timer, alarm and chronological functions on the fly  Yup, I geek out on miles run and calories burned... helpful information when deciding whether to have another beer. A broad LCD display provides superior readability.  (www.origowatch.com, $40.00)

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